To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the use of bases belonging to the Peoples Republic of China in the Antarctic.
11 April 2019
China has established four scientific stations in Antarctica and is currently establishing a fifth. In terms of number of scientific papers, during the period 2011-2015, China ranked sixth (the UK was second) and its scientific activities have continued to increase. Its scientific stations are strategically located across Antarctica and underline China’s ambition to increase their influence within the Antarctic Treaty System. China has stated its objective to ‘understand, protect and use’ Antarctica. Whilst the UK, and many other Parties, have expressed concern regarding China’s reference to the ‘use’ of Antarctica, in light of the Treaty’s objectives of Conservation and protection, there is no evidence to date of China undertaking any activities in contravention to the Treaty.