Jan 05, 2016 10:56 PM EST
Russia and China are increasing their presence in Antarctica. This is to set more influence on the unclaimed continent for various reasons.
Russia's operations in Antarctica are just a continuation from their previously claimed areas by the Soviet Union. Russia is continually expanding on the bases already set in place during the Soviet years. Russia is installing structures to further develop Global Positioning System meant to rival the United States.
Moscow already has a minimum of three satellite monitoring systems installed in the Antarctic. There are more bases planned in the future. Russia also built the first Orthodox church in the region. It is built overlooking a research base.
China is considered the country that has the fastest-growing operations in Antarctica. China already has the Snow Dragon icebreaker embarked in the region 2 years ago. It opened the fourth station last year and is still pressing hard to build a fifth station. Another icebreaking ship also embarked recently and is setting up research drilling operations on an ice dome over 13,000 feet above sea level. Chinese officials said that their expansion in Antarctica prioritizes scientific research over anything else. They do, however, acknowledge the international community concerns over "resource security" with their presence in the area.
"We do weather monitoring here and other research," Ning Xu, 53, the chief of the Chinese base, confirmed.
There are other countries that are set up in Antarctica like India, South Korea and even Brazil. There are other countries that are planning to build their own stations in the region like Belarus and Colombia.
"The old days of the Antarctic being dominated by the interests and wishes of white men from European, Australasian and North American states is over," said Klaus Dodds, a politics scholar at the University of London who specializes in Antarctica. He finished his musing with a statement that Antarctica is now "geopolitically contested."
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