The Daily Blog Open Mic – Tuesday 7th August 2018


Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

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  1. Not the mainstream neo McCarthyist media:

    ‘New Zealand sets sights on Antarctica as concern grows over China’s expanding influence’

    (Darius Shahtahmasebi is a New Zealand-based attorney and political analyst.)

    …”n August last year, a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute warned that Australia’s leadership role was being eroded because of long-term under-investment at a time when other countries (read: China) were expanding their influence in the Pacific region. The report went on to warn that “China has conducted undeclared military activities in Antarctica, is building up a case for a territorial claim, and is engaging in minerals exploration there.” According to the report, three out of four of China’s Antarctic bases and two of its field camps are in the Australian Antarctic Territory, further warning that China’s presence there is aimed at competing for resources, including minerals, hydrocarbons, fishing, tourism, transport routes, water and bioprospecting.

    The report stated that China’s military activities in Antarctica have the potential to shift the strategic balance that has maintained peace in the Asia-Pacific, as well as in Antarctica, for nearly 70 years.

    The author of this report, Professor Anne-Marie Brady of the University of Canterbury, released a separate report specific to the New Zealand context, which warned that “New Zealand must rethink its assessment of risk in Antarctica and devise a strategy to protect its interests there.” Bear in mind, however, that this report was released at a time when the New Zealand government’s Defense Policy defined China as a “key strategic partner” for New Zealand. The 2018 Policy Statement makes no such reference – a clear indication that China is now to be viewed as a potential adversary….

    Antarctica has huge potential economic value, particularly regarding its mineral and oil resources. New Zealand knows this, the United States knows this. Hell, even South Korea knows this. The Ross Sea – to which New Zealand has a pending claim of its own – is suspected of possessing one of the world’s largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia. The Ross Dependency contains a land area that could fit New Zealand’s entire country in at least three times over. It is the most important access point to the continent, including access to the Ross Sea. New Zealand is not going to give up this strategic area so easily, as one would expect.

    “Antarctic geopolitics are shifting rapidly and the clash between those states who promote environmental protection in Antarctica and those who are focused on accessing available resources there is becoming more acute,” Professor Brady warned in her 2017 report. “China is now a member of a unique club of nations, the polar states: those few countries who are powerful at the Arctic and the Antarctic. Polar states are the global giants, strong in military, scientific, and economic power…China has global interests and is well on the way to becoming a global great power. In order to succeed in this evolution it must be dominant in the polar regions.”

    New Zealand, on the other hand, may find itself struggling to compete with China in this regard. It may have the upper hand for the time being, given its military has been involved in Antarctica for over 50 years and has a claim to at least 15 percent of the territory. However, this is the first time that New Zealand has openly treated China as an adversary in a national defense document signed off by all of New Zealand’s government ministries, indicating that we may be witnessing an overt geopolitical shift in alliances as countries begin to assert their competing claims over geostrategic areas in plain view, all the while the media insists on talking about Donald Trump, Russia, and not much else.”

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