• Opposition senator and presidential hopeful Fernando Solanas

Opposition senator and presidential hopeful Fernando Solanas (Photo : REUTERS)

Argentina's parliament approved the construction of a Chinese satellite station for lunar exploration within its territory over concerns that it could be used in future military operation.

The Lowed House passed the bill with 133 in favor of it and 103 against it.

Some lawmakers oppose the facility on the possibility that it could be used in military operation that will draw Argentina into a confrontation with other countries, such as the U.S.

Like Us on Facebook

"It's dual civilian-military technology," said opposition senator and presidential hopeful Fernando Solanas. "It can be used for both aerospace and missile tracking."

Argentinian international analyst Felipe de la Balze also expressed concerns about its possible impact on Argentina's international relations.

"It could have military uses of tremendous importance that could implicate our country in a future military conflict between the U.S. and China," said de la Balze.

A report commissioned by the U.S. Congress said that it had to prepare for confrontation with China on the latter's space program that could block the former's military communications.

Lawmakers are also opposing a tax exemption that will benefit the station for 50 years.

Designed to track unmanned Chinese missions to Mars and the Moon, the station will be China's first space exploration facility to be built on foreign soil and will be ready to operate next year.

The station will cover 200 hectares at Neuquen, which is 1.38 kilometers from Buenos Aires.

Argentina will be able to access at least 10 percent of the antenna's available time for research projects.

Developed by Argentina's National Commission of Space Activities and China's national agency for the launching and control of satellites, the station has an estimated cost of $300 million.