Chinese Satellite Communication Base to be Inspected by Argentinian Government

On April 5, the administration of Argentinian President Javier Milei announced that they are interested in inspecting a satellite communication base that the Chinese government legally built in Argentinian territory, as reported by the Buenos Aires Times. 

As part of the deal, Argentinian scientists and researchers can utilize the site’s 16-story antenna for 10% of its operating time. This is a key point that the Argentinian government wants to ensure is being realized

The antenna has a dish with a 115-foot (35-meter) wide diameter and it can look over 186,411 miles (300,000 kilometers) into space. This site serves as one of China’s three deep space monitoring antennas.

The contract for the base is 50 years long. 

While the European Space Agency (ESA) also has a similar deal with the Argentinian government, differences arrive in operational management. The ESA is a civilian agency, whereas the Chinese base is operated by the Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General, which reports to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Strategic Support Force.

According to a high-level cabinet source inside the Milei administration, “There’s something strange about the contracts in the base. They were given territory where Argentina can virtually not enter”, as reported by the Buenos Aires Times.