China's manned submersible, Jiaolong, began its 5th dive in the Mariana Trench Wednesday morning, targeting a depth between 7,000 to 7,100 meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
The Jiaolong set a new national dive record on Sunday after reaching 7,020 meters below sea level during its fourth dive into the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world's oceans.
Since arriving at the area earlier this month, the Jiaolong had succeeded in reaching depths of 6,671, 6,965 and 6,963 meters in its first three dives from June 15 to 22, easily surpassing the previous national record of 5,188 meters it set last July.
The Jiaolong enabled China to join the ranks of deep-sea faring countries. The United States, Japan, France and Russia currently lead the world in the development of deep-sea exploration technology, each possessing their own submersibles and support bases.
(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2012)