Lab to ex­plore S. China Sea re­sources

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LIU XIAOLI in Haikou li­ux­i­aoli@chi­nadaily.com.cn An Baijie con­trib­uted to this story.

China will open a lab­o­ra­tory in Hainan prov­ince in Novem­ber that will fo­cus on the use of marine re­sources in the South China Sea, a provin­cial of­fi­cial said.

The State Key Lab­o­ra­tory of Marine Re­sources Uti­liza­tion in the South China Sea, ini­ti­ated by the Hainan Science and Tech­nol­ogy Depart­ment and Hainan Univer­sity, must fin­ish re­cruit­ment for the re­search team be­fore op­er­a­tions of­fi­cially be­gin, said Shi Yiyun, head of the depart­ment.

The lab­o­ra­tory will study how to use marine bio-re­sources, new ma­te­ri­als and marine min­eral re­sources as well as how to re­source­fully use marine in­for­ma­tion, Shi told China Daily.

It will also fo­cus on the use of marine or­gan­isms for med­i­cal pur­poses and ways to pro­tect the marine ecol­ogy, he said.

With the help of the lab­o­ra­tory, China will make bet­ter use of marine re­sources in the South China Sea and cul­ti­vate more marine tal­ent, he added.

Li Jian­bao, head the lab­o­ra­tory and also pres­i­dent of Hainan Univer­sity, said that the fa­cil­ity will be built into a key na­tional lab­o­ra­tory to pro­vide sup­port in both tech­nol­ogy and tal­ent for China’s South China Sea strat­egy.

“There will be around 40 re­searchers in the lab­o­ra­tory, but we are go­ing to se­lect 24 first from rel­a­tive ar­eas within the univer­sity, and in­tro­duce tal­ent from home and abroad later,” said Chen Yongjun, deputy di­rec­tor of the lab­o­ra­tory.

The lab­o­ra­tory, with a planned five-year op­er­a­tion, will re­ceive 10 mil­lion yuan ($1.5 mil­lion) an­nu­ally from Hainan’s provin­cial gov­ern­ment for con­struc­tion, daily op­er­a­tions, re­search projects and tal­ent re­cruit­ment.

“The lab­o­ra­tory will be ap­pli­ca­tion-ori­ented, which fits the na­tion’s strate­gies for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the South China Sea, and it surely will play an im­por­tant role in us­ing the marine re­sources of the South China Sea,” said Huang Bangqin, a pro­fes­sor of marine bi­ol­ogy at Xi­a­men Univer­sity’s En­vi­ron­ment and Ecol­ogy College.

Huang said the lab­o­ra­tory will also have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on China’s ex­er­cis­ing sovereignty rights in the South China Sea.

“Be­cause only when we know bet­ter about the South China Sea can we bet­ter safe­guard our na­tion’s rights,” he said.

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