China will build a third scientific research station at the South Pole later this year, a senior official said.
The construction is part of China's contribution to International Polar Year (IPY) which runs from March 1, 2007, to March 1, 2008, Director of the Chinese Antarctic Centre of Surveying and Mapping, E Dongchen said.
The observatory will be located at the icecap peak known as Dome A, 4,039 meters above sea level in Antarctica. The observatory will be used for scientific research in summer but will eventually be developed into a permanent station capable of accommodating scientific research all year round, he said.
Chinese scientific workers climbed Dome A in January 2005 and fixed the site of the observatory. Specialists from Wuhan University, with which the Chinese Antarctic Centre of Surveying and Mapping is affiliated, produced a detailed map for the facility in April 2005.
The name of the new research station is still undecided, Xinhua news agency reported.
China has launched 22 Antarctic expeditions since 1984 and built two permanent exploration stations named Changcheng and Zhongshan.
It now possesses nearly 10,000 Antarctic aerolites including the priceless Lunar and Martian aerolites, the third largest collection in the world.
IPY 2007-2008, to be launched by the International Council for Science (ICSU) in conjunction with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), is the fourth since the first joint polar expedition was organised in 1882/1883.