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China Says Underwater Glider Completes Indian Ocean, S. China Sea Missions

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China's Underwater Glider Completes Indian Ocean, S. China Sea Missions

(Source: Global Times; issued Jan 05, 2018)

China's underwater glider successfully ended its mission to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, and a Chinese expert said other countries should rationally view China's deep sea explorations.

China's independently-developed underwater glider, Haiyi, which means "sea wings" in Chinese, has successfully completed a scientific observation in the Indian Ocean, marking the first time that the country's indigenous underwater glider was used in this ocean, the Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The mission, between December 11, 2017 and January 2, 2018, was meant to observe the interaction between global climate change and marine conditions, Yu Jiancheng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' (CAS) Shenyang Institute of Automation, the glider's developer, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The underwater glider was used to monitor the deep-sea environment in vast areas, Yu said. After diving into the Indian Ocean on December 11, 2017, Haiyi obtained 190 pieces of data on its 705-kilometer journey, Yu added.

Before its Indian Ocean mission, the glider also accomplished a three-month mission in the South China Sea in October 2017, when it reached a record distance of over 1,880 kilometers while collecting data for scientific research.

The deep water landscape and water conditions in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean differ considerably, and the missions in different region will also help China contribute more to international scientific research, Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Such explorations are open and transparent as they are for scientific purposes and not for military use. They should not be politicized or hyped by India and countries surrounding the South China Sea," Chen said.