China’s desire to dominate the sea like it did centuries ago through many epic voyages has resulted in China’s Jiaolong manned submersible becoming the world’s deepest-diving, state-sponsored research vessel.
The Jiaolong has already completed four trips to 7,000 meters deep. The new $78-million National Deep Sea Center will serve as the base for the submersible and the rest of China’s sea-going fleet for oceanographic research and technology development.
With China’s increasing appetite for sea-based resources and growing dependence on ocean-based trade for food and commerce, China is deploying a slow but deliberate and strategic plan in order to secure access to the ocean-based resources they need.
Identifying deep ocean minerals and coastal fish hotbeds lie at the core of China’s oceanic strategy and based on their recent inner and outer space success, there is no reason to believe China cannot return to a prominent player in oceanic research.
Check out the Jiaolong making one of its first dives last year: