Legal Implications of China’s Proposal for an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) at Kunlun Station at Dome A

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Author: Sakiko Hataya
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Built in 2009, Kunlun Station, China’s third Antarctic research station, is located in the Dome A region. In 2013, during the 36th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), China proposed the establishment of a new Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) within Dome A and prepared a draft management plan for it. Yet, several ATCM members questioned China’s motives for designating Dome A as a new ASMA, and, as a result, no consensus could be reached. Surprisingly however, the Chinese ASMA proposal spurred a new impulse to introduce guidelines for the designation of ASMAs. This paper explores the legal implications of China’s proposal for an ASMA at Kunlun Station in Dome A and, in particular, focuses on the new legal developments that followed.

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