Editor’s Note: I would say that we’re surprised, but we’re not. There’s nothing Secret about China’s ambitions to expand its influence all over the globe. They’ve been speaking with Portugal about taking over operations at Lajes Field in the Azores, so the fact they’re looking for real estate for bases in the Southern Hemisphere is not shocking at all. Too bad it’s in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful pieces of landscape on the planet–Patagonia. “Totally civilian and is not operated by military personnel,” but yet run by the military? You don’t say…
Rumors are swirling about a secretive Chinese space station built deep in Argentina’s Patagonia region.
In 2012, leaders in Beijing and Buenos Aires inked a deal to build the so-called “Deep Space Station,” and the facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
While Argentina and China have said that “the ground station in the Southern Hemisphere to support the program for moon exploration and other space activities,” there is a concern among some that the Chinese facility may have a more military purpose. During the recent presidential election, the winner, Mauricio Macri, claimed that he would make public the “secret clauses” that have been rumored to have been added to the agreement.
“This agreement will allow China to count … with a ground station in the Southern Hemisphere to support the program for moon exploration and other space activities,” an Argentine embassy in Beijing said in an e-mail to the Global Times back in 2012. “On the other hand, Argentina will share the use of the facilities for the benefit of its own space program.”
Unlike the other space station in the South American country – an antenna in Argentina’s central-west Mendoza province built by the European Space Agency – the Chinese facility will be operated by the country’s military, political analyst Rosendo Fraga, director of the consulting firm New Majority told the BBC.
Officials in China have said that while military personnel would be running it, the facility would be “totally civilian, and it is not operated by military personnel.”
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(Featured photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
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