China building fourth Antarctic base

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BEIJING (AP) - Burgeoning scientific power China is starting construction on its fourth Antarctic research base to enhance work on climate change and other fields.

State media on Thursday say Taishan Station is being built about 500 kilometers (310 miles) inland. It will be staffed by as many as 20 people during the Antarctic summer from December to March.

The base is a further sign of China's lofty scientific ambitions following the soft landing of a rover on the moon earlier this month.

China operates two coastal bases year-round in Antarctica staffed by as many as 140 people during summer, along with a high-altitude inland base that operates only during the summer.

Great Wall Station, China's first, opened in 1985, more than 80 years after Argentina inaugurated the first continually-staffed base.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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