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China The Military Privacy Security News Science Politics Technology

China Plans Massive Sea Lab 10,000 Feet Underwater In the South China Sea (bloomberg.com) 101

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.
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China Plans Massive Sea Lab 10,000 Feet Underwater In the South China Sea

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09, 2016 @05:14PM (#52284545)

    You better check under the sea

    'cause that is where you'll find me

    Underneath the

    SeaLab

    Underneath the water

    Underneath the

    SeaLab

    At the bottom of the sea...

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday June 09, 2016 @05:19PM (#52284585) Homepage Journal

    China Plans Massive Sea Lab 10,000 Feet Underwater In the South China Sea

    See, now America's attempts to keep them restrained in that area [nytimes.com] will be perceived as anti-science. Very, very clever...

    • Nothing stops anyone from building a sea lab in the open ocean. This isn't like the fake constructed islands, which international laws of the sea do not recognize as granting either the 12 mile military or 200 mile economic (fishing) exclusion zones.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Yes, but that is not how China will treat that lab. Their take over of the S. China Sea is only preparation for assaulting Taiwan with bad governance and the PLA. They figure it is not too dissimilar to when they discovered they owned Tibet because their ancestors use to go potty there several centuries ago. Their discovery of Taiwan is based on the grounds the Taiwanese are really Chinese, even the natives. They have not yet been able to get Taiwan to fork over their country to the Muppets in Beijing, so t

        • Yes, but that is not how China will treat that lab. Their take over of the S. China Sea is only preparation for assaulting Taiwan with bad governance and the PLA. They figure it is not too dissimilar to when they discovered they owned Tibet because their ancestors use to go potty there several centuries ago. Their discovery of Taiwan is based on the grounds the Taiwanese are really Chinese, even the natives. They have not yet been able to get Taiwan to fork over their country to the Muppets in Beijing, so they'll have to do a Tibet on them. Preparations are already being made across the Taiwanese straits. The Muppets just have to wait long enough to remove the U.S.'s ability to fulfill their treat obligations to Taiwan. I give it another 10 years before China will take Taiwan and do for it what they are doing to Hong Kong.

          I wish there was a multi-choice voting system to mark this post as insightful, funny and depressing.

    • Doesn't matter. The chinese economy is a disaster waiting to unwind. Building an underwater military facility is just the type of wasteful boondoogle that communist party loves.
    • See, now America's attempts to keep them restrained in that area will be perceived as anti-science. Very, very clever...

      Has that really been taken serious in the last few decades? China knows that they can do whatever they please, as long as they don't endanger the stability of the world order in the short term. It isn't just in the local area they are being clever - where we in the West have traditionally made ourselves somewhat unpopular in the Middle East, Africa anf South America, China are building up a rather better reputation amongst the locals. We can hardly justify criticizing what they do, which it the clever bit,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09, 2016 @05:34PM (#52284699)
    These are international waters, open to exploration by ALL. This may just be a serious science project, but if it's not just that, the rest of the world needs to do the same. America is not perfect, but I would never, ever, EVER, trust the Chinese government to do ANYTHING for purely altruistic purposes - even for their own people. They get away with too much, already!
    • by Cramer ( 69040 )

      If they can build a habitable sphere that can withstand the 2ton/sq.in. at that depth, then more power to 'em. We have DSV that easily go that deep, but they're the size of a small car and carry the supplies to survive at most a day.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      AC the US lined the oceans with its mil sound surveillance system back in ~ 1960's (SOSUS) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] so any mil precedent has long been set by the US to use the oceans for "anything" any nation wants.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      These are international waters, open to exploration by ALL. This may just be a serious science project, but if it's not just that, the rest of the world needs to do the same. China is not perfect, but I would never, ever, EVER, trust the American government to do ANYTHING for purely altruistic purposes - even for their own people. They get away with too much, already!

      FTFY

    • The US should totally build one.

      We cannot have a Sea Lab Gap!

    • Undersea outposts were pretty thoroughly explored in the 1960s - at that time, there was no economically viable undersea pursuit worth pursuing.

      In other words: when you go underwater and stay there for long periods, you're essentially burning money. Fine if you want to park nuclear missiles off other people's shores, but otherwise not worth the effort.

    • These are international waters, open to exploration by ALL. This may just be a serious science project, but if it's not just that, the rest of the world needs to do the same. America is not perfect, but I would never, ever, EVER, trust the Chinese government to do ANYTHING for purely altruistic purposes - even for their own people. They get away with too much, already!

      Well, welcome to the other side of the fence - I'm glad you could join us. That is what many have been saying about America for many years; now you can see things from the outside. Sorry, I shouldn't gloat, it's just such pleasant feeling, as I'm sure you know.

      There is little doubt that this is a serious, scientific project, but no science is purely unpolitical; practising science in any form tends to influence your thinking and make you less tied up in things like national patriotism, religion etc - after

  • The only place that's not much messed up by men yet (besides MH370 and a few other vessels)
  • If they succeed, they should be sure to take care when stocking the soda machine in the break room. Those things can be dangerous...
  • will this Sealab be operational in 2020?

  • TFA says this is a danger. I could see this while building it, but would you even notice a typhoon happening if your 10,000 feet under, and anchored to the bedrock??
    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      I think earthquakes would be a danger. That much water pressure carrying a shock wave could be very destructive.

      Personally I doubt they will ever build it, so it probably would not matter.

      • ohhh ouch, and if the lab shifted or had any breach...it would be filled with water / crushed within minutes. Our current tech is not strong enough to make this feasible.
  • HA lol!

    This has about as much to do with scientific research as [insert something funny here].

    This is China. This is the South China Sea. This is about sovereignty. It is about establishing "use" and "continued presence" to extend national boarders or to strengthen their position in that regard. Which is ultimately about resources.

    This happens all the time internationally, though I'll admit this is the first time I've seen it occur as a underwater sealab! It does have the bonus that once in place there is v

    • HA lol!

      This has about as much to do with scientific research as [insert something funny here].

      This is China. This is the South China Sea. This is about sovereignty. It is about establishing "use" and "continued presence" to extend national boarders or to strengthen their position in that regard.

      Please. This is about thumping ones chest and making claims that will never pan out to make themselves look bigger. China has made claims to aircraft carriers, supersonic stealth jets, their own space station, missions to the Moon and Mars. As far as I can tell, they are mostly bluster with an unoperational Soviet carrier that still has to be towed, a photoshopped stealth jet, and no missions to anywhere significant. I'm not going to claim that they aren't making technological headway, or that they aren't c

  • Is this base gonna be more like Starfish [amazon.com] or
    preparation for Seveneves [amazon.com] ?

  • Just think about the engineering that'll have to go into something like that. I bet they'll make a lot of new discoveries. They'll also pay a price for it. Achievements like that don't come cheap, in money or men. One screwup at that depth and that's it.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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