China has stepped up its activity in Antarctica for quite some time, well– years. China has now moved from invading the South China Sea further down south– To Antarctica.
China seems to be in a rush to take over the highest point in Antarctica for ‘research’. It wants to establish a designated zone to conduct scientific studies aimed at protecting the environment. Though it has declared intent to openly work with other countries, we are still skeptical about China’s grand scheme of things.
The highest point in Antarctica also known as Dome Argus or Dome A is located 4093 meters above sea level. Chinese researchers claim that they’re the first to venture Dome Argus in an expedition in 2005. The Chinese government is open to negotiations to turn Dome A into a special zone, into an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA).
While ASMA may take some time, China has its own Kunlun station there 10 years ago, setting up research facilities including a telescope array for astronomical observation and monitoring space debris. The US has set up camp not so far away, about 100km away.
China has been busy in Antarctica in recent years, treating its designated area as its own real-life SimCity game, building a permanent airfield, two full-time stations– Great Wall and Zhongshan, and its two seasonal stations, Kunlun and Taishan. They are currently working on a fifth one.
The Chinese justify its infrastructural upgrades by pointing to the rampant expansion of the US in the region. This is a very good reason to brood a cold war among the two superpowers in the world.
China says it’s willing to cooperate, but one can’t help but see that the race to the South pole is underway.
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