China’s footprint in the Antarctic is growing and is set to match the US soon

Reports on current military activity
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DWS Staff
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Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:06 am

China is building its fifth research station in Antarctica and is the second biggest source of tourists to the frigid continent.

New Delhi: China’s dream to gain substantial control of the Antarctic region is making rapid progress, exclusive satellite images accessed by ThePrint show.

Beijing’s Antarctic forays began in the early 1980s when it established its first research station called Changcheng or the Great Wall. India’s Antarctic forays began around the same time.

Since then, China has been continuously expanding its presence in the Antarctic on the pretext of explorations and scientific research.

China’s growing activities in the region represent its ambitions to control the maximum land area so it can influence policies governing the Antarctic region, especially the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) 1959 and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (PREPAT) 1991.

The ATS is a multilateral agreement with 53 signatory nations that restricts the use of Antarctic territory to peaceful purposes and scientific research. It recognises commercial tourism to the vast uninhabited region, but bars prospecting for minerals [“the protocol prohibits all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except for scientific research”] and military exploits, though there have been violations. ... on/172998/
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