Australia is one of the founders of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), a claimant state and the country that, together with France, contributed the most to the birth of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
Some have seen Brazil’s recent increased interest in the South Atlantic as also involving a growing interest in Antarctica.
When a huge iceberg broke away from Antarctica in 2017, the New York Times reported that “maps will need to be redrawn”. The 7th continent is warming due to climate change, and it is on its way to becoming more accessible and habitable by the end of the 21st century.
It was on 20 November 1984 that China dispatched its first Antarctic research expedition team, and by the end of this expedition, the country established its first Antarctic research station, the Great Wall Station on 20 February 1985.
Since the launch of Xuě Lóng 2 (literally, China’s “Snow Dragon 2”) in late 2018, images of Chinese icebreakers on the Polar route of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have become more and more common on media outlets around the world. Images that leave a sweet-and-sour taste, as they imply that one of the few sanctuaries in the world (that is, the Polar region) is no longer immune to large-scale human activity.
As Earth’s southernmost continent, Antarctica lives by norms of its own. It is a de facto condominium over which seven sovereign states maintain territorial claims, but that is governed by a multilateral Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). China’s growing interests in the “White Continent” have spurred responses from the actors that have much at stake in Antarctica, such as Australia, Brazil and Russia, as well as the European Union.
“Tutto ha un prezzo, soprattutto la libertà”, dice Vittus Qujaukitsoq, ministro delle Miniere del nuovo governo Inuit di Nuuk, la lillipuziana capitale della Groenlandia, la più grande isola del mondo abitata da 56 mila persone.
Il Consiglio europeo di fine giugno avrebbe dovuto rappresentare l’occasione per lanciare una roadmap per il rafforzamento dell’Eurozona.
Which are the main aims of China's international relations strategy, and how is Xi pursuing them?
The following excerpt is a slightly revised English translation of the Executive Summary of an ISPI in-depth analysis for the Italian Parliament. The complete version of the report is available here (Italian).