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A glimpse of the huge Antarctic "spy base" of the Chinese - voila! news

2024-02-25T22:02:23.416Z

Highlights: A glimpse of the huge Antarctic "spy base" of the Chinese - voila! news. The facility, which covers an area of ​​5,244 square meters, can house up to 80 people throughout the year. The remote Qinling Station, located on an island near the Ross Sea, is China's fifth Antarctic base and its third capable of operating year-round. Despite Chinese insistence that the base has no military role and is being built solely for scientific purposes, some analysts have warned that its capabilities are "dual-use in nature"


Get a special look at the huge new "spy base" of the Chinese that resembles a base of a villain from "James Bond" movies and houses 80 people every year who live in minus 90 degrees


The ceremony of raising the Chinese flag at the Chinese research station in Antarctica and a rare glimpse inside/CCTV by Reuters

An Antarctic "research station" in the style of a James Bond villain inaugurated by the Chinese government may be used to collect intelligence on the West, international espionage experts claim. The facility, which covers an area of ​​5,244 square meters, can house up to 80 people throughout the year and is managed by the Supreme Military Commander of China.



The remote Qinling Station, located on an island near the Ross Sea (a deep marginal sea in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Mary Bird Land, which is part of the Southern Ocean) is China's fifth Antarctic base and its third capable of operating year-round, even in extreme temperatures.

According to the official announcement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the facility - which is believed to include an observatory with a satellite ground station - will be used to improve "humanity's scientific knowledge of Antarctica".



New footage taken on February 7, the day the outpost opened, showed dozens of workers standing outside the base dressed in red and black winter clothing.

The station appears to be separated into three areas, with a central common room for dining and work purposes.

On the second floor of the station are spacious winter dormitories equipped with essential equipment - including beds, reading lamps, tables, shelves and electrical outlets.

The entire complex was designed in the shape of the Southern Cross constellation, in honor of the Chinese sailor and explorer Zheng He, who used the constellation for navigation during his travels to the Western Sea - but also reminds of a lair suitable for a typical villain from "James Bond" films.



Despite Chinese insistence that the base has no military role and is being built solely for scientific purposes, some analysts have warned that its capabilities are "dual-use in nature".



The construction of Qinling was done under the supervision of the Central Military Commission, China's highest national defense organization.

Its location, near the US McMurdo station and south of Australia, raised concerns that China could "gather intelligence signals" from Australia and New Zealand.

In response to such concerns, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the base was built and is now operating "in full compliance with international rules and procedures."



More on the subject:


US intelligence: China operates a fleet of spy balloons all over the world



China has been using Cuba as a spy base for years

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This is how the place was built:

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies published last April stated that the new base could collect "telemetry data on rockets launched from recently established space facilities in both countries." The report claimed: "While the station can provide tracking and communications to the growing array of scientific polar observation satellites , its equipment can be used at the same time to intercept satellite communications of other countries."



Satellite images of the project released last year indicated the construction of new support facilities, smaller buildings, a helipad and a larger main structure.

Qinling is also known to have a wharf for ships and an observatory with a satellite ground station.



The base is said to "fill a big gap" when it comes to China's ability to access the mainland.

This is how the living conditions look like:

Brian Hart, a fellow at the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said China sees Antarctica as part of its "strategic borders" and could use the Qinling base "for military purposes or intelligence gathering."

He told the American news outlet VOA: "Since this is an area that is further from China's immediate periphery, Beijing wants to be at the forefront and be considered a world leader comparable to the US."



China's decision to build five scientific research bases is in line with its long-term goal to make its voice heard in Antarctic governance," he argued.



Chinese President Xi Jinping first revealed his plans to "better know, protect and make better use of the polar region" nearly a decade ago. The foundations for the base were first laid in 2018, but progress has stalled in the years that followed and the opening happened only this year.​

  • More on the same topic:

  • China

  • Antarctica

  • espionage

Source: walla

All news articles on 2024-02-25

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