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Montevideo, August 14th 2022 - 09:55 UTC



China decries Australia's Antarctica plans

Friday, February 25th 2022 - 09:35 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Ties between China and Australia are headed for a dead end, despite sizeable bilateral trade Ties between China and Australia are headed for a dead end, despite sizeable bilateral trade

The Government of China has voiced its concerns over Australia’s US$ 570 million plan to boost its scientific and strategic presence in Antarctica, which would involve a fleet of surveillance drones and long-range helicopters in the area.

China claimed Australia’s multimillion-dollar plan was part of the “Morrison government’s anti-China agenda” and was driven by “their hostility toward China.”

According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcements in Canberra Tuesday, Australia aims to chart unexplored parts of the continent’s interior with drones and long-range helicopters to boost research into glaciers, marine science and rising sea levels.

By the same token, Australia would find China’s expansion in the increasingly contested region troublesome, although Morrison did not mention specific countries by name when denouncing some countries were eager to “exploit” Antarctica's resources.

“We are stewards of some of the most important and most sensitive environments anywhere in the world,” Morrison said. “We need to keep eyes on Antarctica because there are others who have different objectives to us.”

Australia lays claim to more than 42% of the continent, a territorial ambition that is recognized by few other nations. The Australian government wants to uphold the 1961 Antarctic Treaty, which bans military and mining activity. About 30 countries maintain dozens of research bases on the world’s coldest, driest, and windiest continent.

China’s state media outlet Global Times said Beijing had “always abided by the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty System in carrying out scientific expeditions in the Antarctic region.”

Relations between Australia and China — its biggest trading partner — have soured in recent years. There have been various diplomatic flashpoints, including allegations of Chinese interference in Australia’s domestic affairs.

The Global Times also said Canberra was “driving the bilateral relations toward a dead end.”

In just another episode of the crisis between the two countries, Australia's Department of Defence confirmed that a People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warship had beamed a laser light Feb. 17 against one of its Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon jet over the Arafura Sea.

“Acts like this have the potential to endanger lives. We strongly condemn unprofessional and unsafe military conduct,” read a statement from the Australian Government.

Aiming a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety risk. “Many high-powered lasers can completely incapacitate pilots,” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated. Aside from potential eye damage and eye injuries, a pilot can be worried about the laser being a precursor to a weapon going off in their direction.

If a pilot does not have enough time to react, the consequences of having a laser blurring, blinding, or incapacitating their vision in any way can be dire and fatal, it was explained.

Lasers can also be used to take down a drone, according to military experts.

Tags: Australia, China.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Tænk

    Mr. Heisenbergcomplex...
    Me Aussie blind FVEY'ed matey...
    Indeed they will..., why wouldn't they...?


    Feb 25th, 2022 - 02:26 pm +1
  • Heisenbergcontext

    Well they would, wouldn't they?

    Feb 25th, 2022 - 12:31 pm 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    Glad to see you're still breathing old fella.

    Feb 26th, 2022 - 04:13 am 0
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