China wants to administer an area deep inside Australia’s Antarctic claim…

A Chinese flag flying over Antarctica

Australia’s Government has deflated China’s ambition to manage the summit of the Antarctic ice sheet, an area within Australia’s Antarctic claim.

Key points:

  • China wants to administer an area deep inside Australia’s Antarctic claim
  • Beijing’s proposal for a code of conduct at “Dome A”, a high point on the continent, was discussed this month in Prague
  • Australia’s Government has declared China’s draft code has “no formal standing” within the Antarctic Treaty System

Countries involved in Antarctic affairs met in the Czech Republic this month for their annual diplomatic get-together, and China’s proposal was the subject of discussions.

The bid from China to implement a code of conduct at “Dome A” — some 4,000 metres above sea level — was not supported by Australia.

Dome A has been recognized as perhaps the best location for space observation on Earth due to its high elevation and outstanding visibility.

China’s draft code tabled at the meeting “has no formal standing in the Antarctic Treaty System”, according to a statement by a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson provided to the ABC.

In Antarctica multiple nations sometimes access the same areas for science. One nation or a group of nations take on responsibility for how this occurs.

China’s proposed code is the latest attempt by Beijing to manage activity in this remote location. China is the only nation with a base in the area.

It originally proposed a “specially managed area” five years ago to protect the local environment and coordinate activities in this region.

Full Story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-30/antarctica-china-code-of-conduct-dome-a/11318646