17e40262 f6d9 4063 ad39 9b3ec6fa4ef1

China's ice breaker, the Xuelong, on Wednesday finished crossing the central Arctic area, This is the second time the Xuelong goes through the Arctic. It's first time was to Iceland in 2012, there through North-East passage and back through the Central route. Detailed information on the first voyage can be found at chinare5.com

The vessel is currently on a 83-day Arctic rim expedition mission that began on July 20, with 96 crew members and scientists on board.

The scientists did seven "short term ice station works" from August 2 to August 10.

The back-up plan

The crew didn't completely follow their original plan, to save more time for activities in the central Arctic area.

The back-up plan was also carried out due to weather conditions, scientists told China Central Television.

The original plan was not disclosed to reporters.

According to the modified schedule, the team will enter Canada's exclusive economic zone on August 29.

Bigger role

China wants to play a bigger role in Arctic development, said Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang at the International Arctic Forum in Russia in March.

Read more: 

Analysis: Why is the Arctic important to China?

China has focused on cooperation and sharing information in polar research. 

The Chinese National Arctic and Antarctic Data Center has provided data for more than 100 international projects and more than 10 countries.

Follow the Xuelongs progress on a live map here

Based on news from CGNT