Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Remarks on the Approval for China's Application for Seabed Exploration

Q: It is reported that China's application to explore for polymetallic sulphides in an international seabed area has been approved. Please give us more details.

A: The China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) submitted an application to explore a polymetallic sulphide ore deposit in an international seabed region to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in May, 2010 by the guarantee of Chinese Government. The ISA Council approved the application in July, 2011, and COMRA will be allowed to explore an area measuring 10,000 sq km in an international seabed region located in the southwestern Indian Ocean. According to relevant regulations, COMRA will sign an exploration contract with the ISA. Within the validity period of the contract, COMRA will enjoy exclusive rights to explore for polymetallic sulphides in the area, as well as priority mining rights for future development programs.

According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, international seabed areas and their resources are the commonly inherited property of mankind. China's seabed exploration activities will be conducive to understanding and utilizing international seabed resources, improving scientific knowledge of deep sea resources, and effectively protecting the seabed environment, thus serving the common interests of mankind.

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