China to Build a 'Deep-Sea Space Station' in South China Sea
China is building an empire in the most unlikely location, underneath the surface of the disputed South China Sea.
China considers most of the Islands on the South China Sea as part of their territory, creating a row between its neighboring countries including Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines. But despite the intense territorial disputes, China announced its continuous plans for building a "deep-sea" oceanic space station to hunt for minerals in the South China Sea.
The underwater science lab, others fear, may also be used for military purposes.
The deep-sea oceanic space station would be about 3,000 meters below sea level, according to the Science Ministry presentation. Reports say that the acceleration and implementation of the project was ordered by China.
"Having this kind of long-term inhabited station has not been attempted this deep, but it is certainly possible," said Bryan Clark, of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, in a statement published by Bloomberg.
"Manned submersibles have gone to those depths for almost 50 years. The challenge is operating it for months at a time."
According to reports, the underwater lab is equivalent to NASA's International Space Station, where mining and military observatories might be placed. Very little detail about the project was revealed but the pressure in the underwater lab is believed to be about 300 times more than that of the surface.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced their need for the project.
"The deep sea contains treasures that remain undiscovered and undeveloped, and in order to obtain these treasures we have to control key technologies in getting into the deep sea, discovering the deep sea, and developing the deep sea," said President Xi Jinping, in a statement published by the Seeker.
The South China Sea is one of the busiest trade thoroughfares in the world. Aside from that, it was proven that immense oil reserves are also present in the area, according to a report by Business Insider.
China is adamant in building artificial islands in the disputed territories despite ongoing international tribunal and the clear opposition of its neighboring countries.