Construction on a state-level underwater cultural heritage research base will soon begin in Qingdao, a large city on China's east coast.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage on Saturday signed the agreement with the Qingdao municipal government.

The city government plans to invest 150 million yuan (24 million U.S. dollars) on the infrastructure building of the research base slated for completion by 2014.

With a total floor space of 16,810 square meters, the center will be used for underwater relic exploration and sea research off China's coast.

It will have large labs, relic and reference storage rooms as well as facilities such as pressure oxygen chambers to carry out underwater relic research and protection, according to the agreement.

The administration has recently overseen the building of several other state-level underwater cultural heritage research centers in Hubei, Hainan and Fujian provinces.

China boasts an oceanic area of 3 million square kilometers and coastline of more than 18,000 kilometers. In the country's long history,many treasures were sunken in waters during trade and transportation.



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