On January 19, 2017, Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology led a delegation to visit the Xuelong polar expedition vessel anchored at Punta Arenas, Chile. He talked with Sun Bo, leader of Chinaˇ®s 33rd Antarctic scientific expedition team, and met with the team and crew members.
After listening to the work report on the 33rd Antarctic scientific expedition team made by Sun Bo, Minister Wan Gang learned about the progress of routine expeditions and special polar and related scientific research projects undertaken by the team. Sun Bo reported that the Antarctic expedition tasks are progressing smoothly, with environmental governance at the Great Wall Station being carried out in good order, ground supporting at Kunlun Station continuously strengthened and scientific expedition work at Zhongshan Station in full swing, and that detailed and solid multi-disciplinary ocean survey data have been collected.
Minister Wan Gang spoke highly of the work of the Antarctic scientific expedition team and said that the work done by the team is of great significance to the development of science and technology in China. The minister remarked that compared with Arctic scientific expeditions, Antarctic expeditions have more unknown factors to reveal and are more challenging. He hoped that the team members could make persistent efforts to achieve new success.
On the same day, Minister Wan Gang met in Punta Arenas with Jorge Flies, Intendant of the XII Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica of Chile. The two sides held in-depth exchanges on Antarctic cooperation, science and technology development between the two countries and other issues.
Accompanying Minister Wan Gang were Charge dˇŻAffaires Li Wuji of the Chinese Embassy in Chile, Director Wu Yuanbin of the Department of Science and Technology for Social Development, Director Ye Dongbai of the Department of International Cooperation, and other officials of the Ministry of Science and Technology.