China and Australia are racing for military might and future mining at the Antarctic which is slowly and silently affecting the geopolitics.
Australia is pushing ahead with major upgrades of Antarctic research stations to strengthen its science and presence on the icy continent. Australian government’s Antarctic Division, website displays the news headline (25th July, 2022) –Preparing Australia’s Antarctic infrastructure for the future. Does the future mean a year 2048?
In 2048, the Antarctic Treaty will follow a review milestone set for its ban on mining under the Madrid Protocol, which supports the Treaty. If the stakeholders with voting rights on continental governance will not prohibit militarization and mining of the region then it will change the game.
It’s important to remember world’s driest, windiest and coldest continent is a treasure trove of minerals and hydrocarbons. What does it mean for Australia which asserts sovereignty over roughly 42% of the Antarctic continent, called the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT).
Is it all about climate change research and natural resources present on the 19th century discovered continent? Or the rapid pace of technological development in recent decades has changed the relevance of Antarctica.
The answer to the question, you will get in Australia’s budget review 2022-23 index. The Budget includes $839.9 million to strengthen Australia’s capabilities and presence in Antarctica. The budget review states, this funding likely stems from concerns about the activities of China in the Antarctic, including the building of Chinese bases in the Australian Antarctic Territory. But China says, using the so-called geostrategic panic as an excuse, Australia and few other countries are actually pushing their own self-serving agenda.
Elizabeth Buchanan says:
The basis for the treaty system—environmental protection—is often used to mask strategic ambitions.
Nan Zhang says:
To protect the economy, many developed and industrial countries are focusing on energy and mineral independence. It will necessitate the search for new deposits in poorly explored or unexplored areas, such as the polar regions mainly Antarctica.
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