An anonymous reader writes: In an effort to hunt for materials, China is planning to build a manned deep-sea platform in the South China Sea. The lab may also serve for military purposes in the disputed waters as well. The lab would be located as much as 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) below sea level, according to a recent Science Ministry presentation viewed by Bloomberg. Bloomberg writes: "The project was mentioned in China's current five-year economic plan released in March and ranked number two on a list of the top 100 science and technology priorities." There are few public details specifying the timeline of the project, any blueprints, costs or where exactly it will be located. China's President Xi Jinping considers more than 80 percent of the waters its sovereign territory. The country has even created several artificial islands in the South China Sea covering 3,200 acres. Last year, the NYT posted a fascinated piece showing clear satellite imagery of the new islands being built.