In recent years, as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has grown in economic size, military strength and international influence, it has become more active in Antarctica. This has led to worries that Beijing’s ambitions extend further than just scientific research and fishing. Concerns have been raised about the PRC wanting to exploit Antarctica’s mineral and fossil energy resources and militarise the continent. There has been speculation that the PRC is even planning to make its own territorial claims.
Ms Yun Jiang, The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) China Matters Fellow and author of a new policy research report "China’s Antarctic ambitions - and their implications for Australia", argues that some of the popular concerns around the PRC’s activities, including militarisation and territorial claims, are overblown.
To consider the question of China’s ambitions in Antarctica and their implications for Australia, La Trobe Asia, together with the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and China Matters, have brought together an expert panel. Ms Yun Jiang will be joined by Dr Nengye Liu and Mr Richard Maude. Professor Nick Bisley will moderate the event.
The panel will consider some of the key questions and concerns about the PRC’s Antarctica ambitions and what they mean for Australia.
Is the PRC militarising the region or looking to establish conditions in which they can make their own territorial claims?
What is the PRC’s approach to resource exploitation in Antarctica, including fishing and the potential for mining in the future?
How does the PRC view the current Antarctic governance processes established under the Antarctic Treaty System?
How do Beijing’s activities in Antarctica compare with other countries?
See below for more information about the Author, the Moderator, and the Panellists.