Experts have increasingly warned that the likes of Russia and China are turning their attention to the scientific haven of Antarctica. The region has been protected by the Antarctic Treaty System for more than 60 years, which bans military activity on the continent and suspends eight territorial claims – including Britain’s – to the region. But Moscow and Beijing are said to be pushing their luck for more access to fisheries, oil reserves, and mining as the treaty is set to come up for contention in 2048.
Geopolitical expert Professor Klaus Dodds previously told Express.co.uk: The biggest source of tension in recent years has been fishing.
“What we have, essentially, is two sides – on the one hand, you have China, Russia, Ukraine and Japan – all of whom want to exploit fish for commercial benefit
“On the other hand, you have the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the US who tend to focus more on environmental protection and conservation.
“What we are seeing in the Southern Ocean at the moment is a battle of wills over the balance between fishing and not fishing.”