October 19th, 2014

Sino-French "SeaOrbiter" Project makes new progress

Mr. Jacques Rougerie (left), initiator of "SeaOrbiter" project and Chairman of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation, Admiral Bernard Rogel (center), chief of staff of the French Navy, and Mr. Xiao Wunan, Executive Chairman of APECF, pose for a group photo.

October 19 (people.cn) (Journalist: Li Yongqun) – A dinner to celebrate the Sino-French "SeaOrbiter" was hosted by the Institut de France - the Jacques Rougerie Foundation and co-sponsored by the Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation. It was held in French navy headquarter on the evening of October 16. Adm. Bernard Rogel, chief of staff of the French Navy, Mr. Jacques Rougerie, initiator of the "SeaOrbiter" project and Chairman of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation, Mr. Xiao Wunan, Executive Chairman of APECF, Mr. Li Shaoping, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in France, and other distinguished guests attended the dinner.

In March this year, during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to France, the Institut de France - the Jacques Rougerie Foundation and APECF signed a memorandum of understanding on the SeaOrbiter–China Project in Paris. They plan to build the world's first "SeaOrbiter" in the South China Sea. The goal of the SeaOrbiter Project is to create a new method for ocean exploration, observation, analysis and sampling as well as extend monitoring by scientists to 24 hours a day. This project can help mankind better understand the phenomenon of oceans and the ecosystem of seabed. At the same time, the hidden ocean's treasures will be explored in the spirit of resources conservation.

Mr. Xiao Wunan pointed out during his keynote speech on August 18 that China's State Council officially listed the SeaOrbiter as one of ten major scientific and technological projects and praised this cooperation from a national strategic perspective. The first "SeaOrbiter" is now in the preparation and construction stage. The Chinese government, the National Bureau of Oceanography and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are involved in this project, hope to announce progress of the project and launch this national level and key project as soon as possible to mark for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. China hopes this project will turn it into a maritime power and assume more responsibility exploring our oceans.

The atmosphere of the dinner was very warm. An exhibition on the latest achievement of "SeaOrbiter" was a surprise to the guests. There was a table designated specifically for the Chinese side represented by APECF during the dinner. Guests applauded when a video showed a former French astronaut and scientists working in a submarine deep in the Atlantic greeted guests "Hello" in Chinese.

Mr. Rougerie said this is the first Chinese involvement in this traditional ocean theme activity. This represents the great expectations and blessings of the research team of the "SeaOrbiter" from around the world to APECF. Expectations are great regarding the future role China will play in this pioneer project on behalf of human civilization, intelligence and forward-looking exploration.