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China at the South Pole

China is boosting its presence in Antarctica with an eye on the icy continent’s vast untapped resources, even though it could take 35 years to start exploiting them. Antarctic Treaty members, which include China, have agreed not to exploit Antarctic resources until 2048, but there is nothing to stop them doing geographical surveys.  China already has as many permanent research stations as the U.S. in Antarctica — including the Great Wall Station on King George Island off the Antarctic Peninsula, Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) Station in the east and Kunlun Station in the interior. Now the Chinese appear poised to start work on a fourth station close to the main U.S. base — McMurdo Station — in a part of Antarctica known as the Ross Dependency that is administered by New Zealand.

 Anne-Marie Brady, a political science professor at New Zealand’s Canterbury University and editor of The Polar Journal, wrote in a recently published research paper that China is clearly interested in Antarctic res…

Who Owns the SOUTH Pole

A switch from our usual pole.

  No one owns Antarctica, although a few countries persist in maintaining their frozen claims to slices of the continent for research and scientific purposes in line with the Antarctic Treaty. In reality, the international community is responsible for the region, operating through the Antarctic Treaty and its related agreements. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body responsible for regulating shipping internationally, designated the Southern Ocean as a "special area"

Many parts of Antarctica have been coming under increasing pressure as the growing global demand for sea food means the region's rich resources are increasingly targeted. There are fishing boats, both legal and illegal, including a new breed that vacuum krill from the sea. 

The United States and New Zealand put forward competing plans to create a marine protected area of 1.6 million square kilometres in the Ross Sea. Another proposal would have created a res…