China and Antarctica: Hot ambitions in an icy climate
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The Chinese presence is becoming increasingly conspicuous in Antarctica. With fourestablished bases and plans for further bases on the continent, China appears intent tobecome a leader on the ice. A full consultative party (CP) since 1985, China has, within arelatively short amount of time, become an AT member that seems especially eager togrow and consolidate its presence on the ice. China's Antarctic engagement appears toreflect its general foreign policy and economic intentions (i.e. economic expansion andgrowth of socio- or geopolitical presence and resulting power). This critical reviewexplores China's history, developments, and ambitions in Antarctica as part of a globalcommons environment. The hypothesis is brought forward that developments areindicative of an international development towards militarization and spatial expansionin Antarctica, in the context of 'the Asian century'. In terms of international cooperationand co-existence in Antarctica, China's scramble for increased presence and geopoliticalreach could lead to increasing suspicion and tension among Treaty members and anelevated need for the ATS to monitor, secure, and govern international adherence to itsbasic principles and ambitions. Suggestions for further research are given.
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