China Invades the Antarctic
China is invading Australian territory—in Antarctica. This was the conclusion found by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (aspi) on August 17. aspi warned that the Chinese buildup could threaten Australia, the United States and the world.
The Antarctic Treaty
The fears raised in the report stem from China’s disregard of the Antarctic Treaty. Signed in 1959, the treaty states that the Antarctic is for peaceful purposes only, with freedom of scientific observation. The agreement is that those observations should be made available to all and that there is to be no military buildup unless it is to support the scientists. All claims of sovereignty are put on ice—pun intended—while the treaty is in place.
Though it agreed to the treaty, China doesn’t quite interpret it the same way its fellow signatories do.
As the report noted, “China interprets Antarctic sovereignty as undetermined.” As such, China is working hard to stake its claim. It has done so by establishing new bases, making geographical discoveries, naming hundreds of new sites, and adding major increases to its budget at a time when Antarctic funding for other nations is melting away. These projects are tantamount to one big Chinese land grab.
The Chinese are claiming the region and simultaneously keeping it quiet. Chinese media outlets have been purposefully mistranslating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s comments. During a 2014 visit to Tasmania, Xi said he looked forward to working alongside Australia to “exploit” the Antarctic. But China Daily toned it back to “exploring.”
China is exploiting the treaty and the international community that is unwilling to stop it.
The report noted various military buildups that China has begun, all of which it claims to be mere support elements for the scientists.
The Antarctic expeditions’ helicopter support is contracted to a Chinese military company. It uses a fleet of amphibious vehicles designed by People’s Liberation Army engineers that can be used for both peaceful and military applications.
China is exploiting the hazy military restrictions of the treaty. Furthermore, China has failed to disclose its military presence in Antarctica. Each year, nations must file paperwork explaining their presence in the region. China recently omitted details on its military personnel—despite parka-clad proof of their presence.
And it isn’t just snow boots on the ground that have dual uses. The polar research stations themselves can serve both peaceful scientific functions and military functions.
China’s BeiDou satellite system is the Chinese equivalent to America’s Global Positioning System. The aspi report stated:
China’s polar research stations play a crucial role in helping the People’s Liberation Army (pla) enhance its command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4isr) system capabilities, missile timing and missile positioning via the BeiDou satellite system.
Having the system available in Antarctica is crucial for expanding BeiDou’s satellite coverage. Many nations would be uneasy having such technology set up in their backyard. There is no such problem in Antarctica.
China established satellite receiving and processing stations at both the Changcheng and Zhongshan Station facilities in 2010 and at Kunlun in 2013.
China has even stated how important Antarctica is for its BeiDou system. In its 2012–2013 annual report, Beijing said Antarctica was invaluable for “preparing for the facilitation or interference of precision missile strikes and for targeting and communicating with various satellite systems.”
And as the aspi report noted, “China’s use of this technology during a conflict would greatly enhance its defensive capabilities in an air-sea battle in its near seas.”
The report further noted, “China’s military activities in Antarctica—along with those of the other major nuclear powers that use their Antarctic bases to control offensive weapons systems—have the potential to shift the strategic balance that has maintained peace in the Asia-Pacific, as well as in Antarctica, for nearly 70 years.”
The aspi report made another alarming statement:
Any state that dominates the airspace of Antarctica—currently, only the U.S. can do so—could potentially control air access to all Oceania, South America and Africa. China is setting up an intercontinental Antarctic air route and can be expected to use pla Air Force planes in due course to expand capacity and build polar experience.
Don’t be fooled by Antarctic’s appearance on an average map. It is closer to crucial choke points than you may realize. An air base in Antarctica would be within reach of southern Australia, the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. All three of these points have high levels of maritime traffic.
If China can establish a military presence close to these sea-lanes, it can break free of a reliance on gates and choke points around the Pacific.
In 2015, aspi executive director Peter Jennings said, “We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda—one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors.” He continued, “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”
China wants the cross-arctic air and Southern Ocean trade route. While it controls many of the world’s pivotal sea gates, contingencies through the Antarctic are an essential backup.
The Antarctic Treaty was created as a Cold War instrument. U.S. naval dominance was established in the Asia-Pacific in the 1950s to defend a series of island chains against the spread of communism. A link formed from the North Pole to the South Pole. That link established U.S. control from the Bering Sea to America’s Amundsen-Scott Base in the Antarctic.
The Trumpet often writes on China’s efforts to challenge that regional power. One example is the South China Sea, where China is repeatedly ignoring international law in an attempt to control a major maritime passage. Why should the “undetermined” Antarctic sovereignty be any different? Expect China to continue to exploit the region for its own gain, both economically and militarily.
“Breaking the U.S. military’s strategic dominance in the Asia-Pacific would greatly enhance China’s security and enable it to gain the upper hand in multiple maritime territorial disputes,” the aspi report warned.
The Trumpet has issued its own warning—not based on what we see in the world but on what your Bible promises. Your Bible states that China will dominate key trade routes in our modern era. To see what the Bible says about modern China, request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.
Read the prophecy in Deuteronomy 28. Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied for decades during the 20th century that the siege in Deuteronomy 28:52 symbolized the American economy sustaining heavy damage inflicted by foreign competition: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates.”
Those gates refer to strategic choke points in world trade, which today include the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn.
Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote, “Who has those gates? America and Britain have or had the gates, and we are going to be besieged in all of them. We have already virtually lost control of all of them. This is a prophecy for this end time.”
That is why the Trumpet watches China’s rise so closely. Developments in Antarctica might appear to be a world away, but don’t shrug them off. When viewed through the lens of Bible prophecy, China’s activity to the south might directly affect you in the immediate future.