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China's Fendouzhe submersible an achievement of new-era tech innovation: Chief designer


 , Updated 20:45, 04-Mar-2024
China's crewed deep-sea submersible Fendouzhe. /CFP
China's crewed deep-sea submersible Fendouzhe. /CFP

China's crewed deep-sea submersible Fendouzhe. /CFP

Fendouzhe (Striver), China's first manned submersible able to operate at the bottom of the sea, is the achievement and demonstration of China's scientific and technological innovation in the new era, Ye Cong, a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) said on Monday.

Ye, also the chief designer of the crewed deep-sea submersible, made the remarks at the "Members' Corridor" on the sidelines of the Two Sessions.

Launched in 2016, the Fendouzhe is one of China's latest self-developed submersibles, capable of carrying three people to the deepest ocean. It dived 10,909 meters underwater back in 2020 and landed at the bottom of the world's deepest oceanic trench – the Challenger Deep.

The machine was also used during human's first live-streamed dive into the Challenger Deep in 2020.

As a hydronaut himself, Ye took the Fendouzhe and dived to 10,124 meters underwater, where he gained a precious memory.

"Fish can't live any deeper than 8,000 meters, but we found creatures like sea cucumbers and gammarids," Ye told CGTN Digital in 2022. "The existence of these creatures in this environment was a very interesting thing."

The submersible also participated in international projects like the "Global TREnD" program, or the Global Trench Exploration and Diving. From late 2022 to early 2023, the submersible carried five foreign researchers into the ocean. Dr. Kareen Schnabel from National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, and Zheng Yuqing from Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences became the first women to reach the Scholl Deep.

"The Fendouzhe has dived 230 times into the ocean in the previous four years," Ye told reporters in the Great Hall of People. "We accumulated a great amount of precious data, which will be a foundation for human's research of the deep sea."

Ye also mentioned other two Chinese submersibles, the Shenhai Yongshi (deep-sea warrior) and the Jiaolong (flood dragon), adding that the submersible trio carried out more than half of world's deep-diving missions in the last three years.

"In the future, we will try to contribute more to human's exploration and protection of the ocean," Ye said.

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