China to build its first underwater observation platform in South China Sea

Beijing, Feb 28 (IANS) China is planning to build its first underwater observation platform in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, which are claimed by several of its neighbouring countries, EFE reported.

The Institute of Acoustics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai’s Tongji University will be in charge of constructing the facility, whose exact location has not been revealed, according to CCTV News.

The underwater platform will be the first of an observation network the two institutions are aiming to create in the South and East China Seas.

The observation point will be used to monitor undersea physical, chemical, and geological dynamics although it could also be used for other purposes, according to the virtual community and science blog ScienceNet.

China’s territorial claims over almost all of the South China Sea, an area rich in natural resources and crucial for navigation routes, have led to disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.