China Has A Space Station In Argentina And The US Doesn’t Like It
China's reach has extended to the heavens with one successful launch after the other by their fledgling space program. Their reach has extended even in the Americas with a space station in the Patagonian desert in Argentina-and it's got the US worried.
China's latest space-conquering aid is a $50 million satellite and space installation deep in Patagonia. It's got a metal tower and it is complete with a dish to scan the skies for signs they're looking for. NY Times suggests that the base is one of China's ways of reaching out to other countries to show that there is indeed cooperation among compatriots in the race for space.
The station, built in March, is an important cog in the machinery that drives China's race to become the first to explore the dark side of the moon. In some ways, though, this space station serves more than just as a research station for the benefit of mankind; in the US' eyes, it is beginning to look more and more like China's way of expanding its reach, although China stresses the US is jumping to premature conclusions.
The US has filed different kinds of protests because of the mere presence of the space station in the desert. Several legislators, as well as local officials close to the US, have said that Argentina has all but granted sovereign rights on a piece of Argentinian soil. The facility could also be converted for other uses. The popular suspicion is that China is using it as more than just for exploring space.
The US, according to The Diplomat, is of the popular conclusion that China's space station is also being used to spy on its neighbors from space, or at least, to listen to transmissions using its satellite dish. The Chinese side is being very specific about their use of the space station, however. Time and again, the officials explained that the ground station will be used for deep space transmissions as well as the impending moon mission.
China's reach in Argentina and nearby countries extends far beyond mere cooperation for projects that benefit humankind. It has been known that China and other Latin American countries have a robust trade going on, to the tune of $244 billion in trade made the last year more than twice the amount made by these countries in deals since they've started modern trade a decade ago.