21:22 GMT +312 November 2019
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    This photo taken on September 10, 2018 shows Xuelong 2, China's first domestically-built icebreaker, being launched at a shipyard in Shanghai

    Xuelong 2 Sets Sail for First Journey to Antarctic

    © AFP 2019 / STR
    Asia & Pacific
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    China's second-and its first domestically built-research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, will set sail on Tuesday from Shenzhen, Guangdong province, for its first polar journey.

    The ship will be a major part of China's 36th Antarctic expedition, which involves 413 scientists, researchers and support staff, and will make stops at two Chinese Antarctic research stations-Zhongshan and Changcheng-with members of the expedition team to conduct scientific operations on the largely frozen continent, according to Qin Weijia, director of the Ministry of Natural Resources' polar expedition office.

    It will also make a port call in South Africa related to scientific cooperation projects, Qin told reporters at a news conference in Shenzhen on Monday.

    The vessel's partner-Xuelong-will set sail from Shanghai on Oct 22 and join Xuelong 2 at Zhongshan for joint survey operations. Then the two icebreakers will separate and perform their tasks independently.

    This article was originally published in China Daily.

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