China in the Arctic and Antarctic: A Threat?

September 19, 2020 Topic: Security Region: Asia Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: ChinaArcticThreatsXi JinpingTreatyAntarctic

China in the Arctic and Antarctic: A Threat?

Since 1983, Beijing has been a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty which prohibits new territorial claims, other than the seven original ones. If China decided to alter this position, it would have to abandon the treaty or push for a reform in 2048.

To undertake military research is a violation of the Antarctic Treaty. The treaty allows members to conduct inspections but they are highly expensive and dangerous due to climatic conditions. This does not allow an efficient process of inspection, especially in areas that are very remote.  If China is able to get the Specially Designated Area, then it will have increased influence over its activities around Kunlun station. But until now, this initiative has not been welcomed by the other signatories of the treaty even though Beijing has exerted pressure on Australia, the UK, France, Argentina, Norway, and New Zealand.

Carlo J. V. Caro researches U.S. Foreign Policy and Terrorism. He holds advanced degrees in Security Studies, and Islamic Studies from Columbia University.

Sasha Dov Bachmann is a professor of Law at the University of Canberra, Australia, and Research Fellow at NATO SHAPE Pacific, Hybrid Threats and Lawfare.

Image: Reuters