Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (front) visits the State Oceanic Administration in Beijing, China, Jan. 26, 2014. Zhang was present at a symposium here on Sunday with scientists researching polar regions and oceans. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli Sunday called for research in polar regions and oceans and make new contributions to the building of a marine power.
During a visit to the State Oceanic Administration, Zhang made a video connection with scientists in polar regions and researchers onboard the scientific research vessel "Xuelong" in the Antarctic.
He extended festival greetings to the scientists ahead of China's Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 31 this year.
Zhang spoke highly of Xuelong's performance in rescuing 52 passengers from an icebound Russian vessel.
Research in polar regions and oceans will play an important role in promoting sustainable development of society and dealing with global climate change and environmental protection, Zhang said.
"Great progress has been made by Chinese scientists in advancing mankind's understanding of polar regions and oceans and promoting humanity's peaceful use of the land," he added.
Zhang called for improved communication equipment in polar areas to better respond to emergencies.
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