The oceans of the Earth are vast and mysterious. A large portion of them remain unexplored and there are probably countless undiscovered species of plants and animals of which we can’t even conceive. That could be one of the reasons why China is working to secure rights to the South China Sea so that they can build a “space station” 9,800 feet under it. The goal? To serve as a platform from which they can explore more offshore mining efforts. Clearly someone has never see The Abyss.
Crews would inhabit the station for up to a month at a time and would perform a slew of scientific experiments along with their mining operations.
As to whether it will happen, time will tell. However, given that China is doing whatever they can to lay claim to the South China Sea (including building islands on it), I doubt they’d pass up the chance to get a pair of eyes and hands on the ocean floor.