China to build Antarctic airfield

Antarctica. (File, AFP)
Antarctica. (File, AFP)

Beijing - China is to build its own airfield in Antarctica, media reported Monday, as Beijing continues to expand its footprint in the most remote corners of the globe.

The airstrip will be built to assist China's four research stations on the frozen continent, the Beijing Evening News said, without giving details such as runway length or capacity.

"China has built four Antarctic research stations, but does not have its own fixed-wing airport", the newspaper said.

Researchers "must rely on maritime transport", it said, which was "seriously affecting the ability of scientific exploration".

The facility will be built near China's Zhongshan Station, it said without citing a source.

Zhongshan is on the Antarctic coast near the Larsemann Hills, south-west of Australia.

State media said in April that the Xue Long [Snow Dragon] icebreaker had completed China's 30th expedition to Antarctica, three decades after the first Chinese mission to the continent.

The ship will leave Shanghai on Thursday for another expedition south that will develop the airport plans, the Beijing Evening News said.

About 30 countries, all members of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, operate research bases in Antarctica. The pact aims to reduce the likelihood of confrontations over territorial disputes there.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 115 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 207 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 538 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.25
(-0.09)
ZAR/GBP
20.29
(-0.13)
ZAR/EUR
18.23
(-0.16)
ZAR/AUD
11.25
(-0.20)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.04)
Gold
1787.51
(+0.09)
Silver
22.67
(+0.11)
Platinum
965.22
(+0.30)
Brent Crude
48.27
(+0.96)
Palladium
2413.01
(+0.60)
All Share
57822.50
(-0.17)
Top 40
53021.58
(-0.12)
Financial 15
11577.71
(-0.58)
Industrial 25
79894.95
(-0.12)
Resource 10
52804.55
(+0.03)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo