Moscow’s latest invasion of Ukraine has turned Vladimir Putin’s Russia into a pariah state, essentially overnight, and seen the country saddled with an unprecedented international sanction regime. The long-term implications of freezing cooperation and dialogue with Russia are significant –
Antarctica, as one of the largest shared spaces on the planet, represents an emerging nexus of geostrategic competition. Australia may have reason to be troubled by this. As a longstanding champion of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), and as Antarctica’s largest claimant, any fracturing of the
Book Review: The Future of Antarctica: Scenarios from Classical Geopolitics, by J McGee, D Edmiston and M Haward (Springer, 2022)
For a place that is agreed by treaty to be used only for peaceful purposes, scientific investigation, and conservation as well as use of its living resources, a lot of
The Australian government has cancelled the proposed aerodrome near Davis station in the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT), emphasising environmental concerns but probably more because of cost and engineering difficulties. The government is likely to instead announce more remote monitoring,
China’s fast-growing logistical and scientific capability in Antarctica and more active participation in Antarctic affairs continue to draw attention and scrutiny. In recent years, China has notably spoken about striking a “balance between protection and use” in the Commission for the
The Antarctic Treaty is celebrating an important anniversary.
Negotiated in 1959, the treaty entered into force on 23 June 1961. The first meeting of the treaty parties was held at (Old) Parliament House in Canberra on 10 July 1961. There were only 13 original state parties: Argentina, Australia,
Since the Davis aerodrome project in Antarctica was proposed in 2018 by the Australian government, there have been continuing debates about the potential environmental costs, as well as its geopolitical implications, in light of Australia’s sovereign claims to 42% of the frozen continent and
Panic about China in Antarctica or shoehorning the continent into US-China geostrategic competition risks creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Australia’s interest in a peaceful Antarctica doesn’t fit such a binary view. Besides, where else would it be commonplace for Chinese, Australian and US
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update goes some way to preparing Australia to compete in a new multipolar, Indo-Pacific–anchored strategic environment. But a notable absence from the document is Russia. This matters. Australians too often speak of Moscow’s irrelevance and weakness since the end of
At the current meeting in Hobart for CCAMLR, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Australia is once again moving to establish marine sanctuaries off the east of Antarctica with the support of the US, Europe, and a coalition of environmental organisations. And
From trade to cyber, from the South China Sea to outer space, strategic rivalry between the United States and China is shaping the international order. The polar regions seem no exception.
At the recent Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council held in Rovaniemi, Finland, US Secretary of State
For all the back-and-forth Hugh White has generated with his latest book, How to Defend Australia, in a national preoccupation with the China question, little serious discussion has been devoted to how to defend Australia’s southern front and cope with China’s increasing Antarctic footprint.
For international governance of the near-pristine expanse of the Antarctic, consensus decision making is powerful indeed. This model, is the modus operandi of Antarctic law, and has formed the basis for the successful operation of the Antarctic Treaty System.
It can be corrosive to such a
China has become more and more active in Antarctica in recent years – both in research and in the international framework of agreements known as the Antarctic Treaty System that has successfully seen the frozen continent devoted to peace and science for decades.
The government has announced budget support for Australia’s first paved runway in its Antarctic territory, as part of a modernisation program for its Antarctic bases.
Of all the Antarctic-related investment opportunities available to them, the government has chosen to pursue a business case for
In 1912 a team of explorers were stranded for a miserable winter at Inexpressible Island, in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. “The road to hell might be paved with good intentions,” the team doctor noted of the experience, “but it seemed probable that hell itself would be paved something after