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China opens 4th Antarctic research base

China has opened a fourth Antarctic research base, the State Oceanic Administration said here on Saturday.

The new Taishan station is located between Zhongshan and Kunlun stations at an altitude of 2,600 meters. It can accommodate up to 20 people during the Antarctic summer, and is equipped with a runway for fixed-wing aircraft, specially designed for snow and ice.

China's first Antarctic expedition in 1984 was the first step towards establishing the four research centers on the continent -- Great Wall, Zhongshan, Kunlun and, now, Taishan. The first station, Great Wall, opened in 1985.

Taishan station is expected to be in service for the next 15 years.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 08Feb14]

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