Antarctica, November 13, 2014: China’s recent disclosure of plans to establish a satellite facility in Antarctica has heightened concerns about militarisation of the peaceful continent. According to a story published by the official Xinhua news agency, the Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition is planning to build a base for the BeiDou satellite navigation system this summer.
In recent times, China has made several attempts at escalating its involvement in the region. According to reports, China has five stations, is planning an airstrip, and recently blocked marine reserves that could affect fisheries in Antarctica.
The facility at Great Wall station in Antarctica will include receivers, auxiliary equipment and a reference station key to improving BieDou's accuracy. It will join others including Norway's Trollsat, strategically located in Antarctica to fit their global networks – but which are claimed to breach the Antarctic Treaty.
Norwegian Bard Wormdal, author of The Satellite War told media, “Warfare today is totally dependent on space and ground stations for satellites. The new Chinese base installation is part of the militarisation of Antarctica, and a violation of the Antarctic Treaty.”