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    China Sets Up New Antarctic Research Facility

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    China has upped its Antarctic research presence by adding yet another facility to the continent’s frozen landscape.

    China has upped its Antarctic research presence by adding yet another facility to the continent’s frozen landscape.

    That makes it their fourth large-scale building on the frozen terrain, putting them just behind some of the world’s other major players on the continent.

    Japan currently has 5 and the US 6. Argentina and Russia lead the pack with 13 and 12, respectively.

    While none of the 30 nations that have erected structures can start taking advantage of Antarctica’s lush natural resources until 2048, getting ready for that moment is a popular endeavor.

    The new Chinese center has been nicknamed ‘The Lantern’, but is officially called the Taishan, after one of the country’s sacred mountains.

    Its purpose is for the study of geology, climate change and glaciers.

    The country’s recent acceleration of efforts to establish a presence in Antarctica has political purposes as well.

    A Chinese scholar commented, “China’s exploration of the continent is like playing chess. It’s important to have a position in the global game. We don’t know when play will happen, but it’s necessary to have a foothold.”