BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s Congress has approved the installation of a Chinese satellite tracking station in the South American country’s Patagonia region.
The measure passed in the lower house with 133 votes in favor and 107 against late Wednesday.
Opposition lawmakers questioned the possible military use of the base and a tax exemption that will benefit the station for 50 years.
The satellite station being built in southern Neuquen province is China’s first outside the country for its space exploration program.
The station will be used for monitoring and downloading data through an antenna with a 115-foot (35-meter) diameter. It’s expected to cost $300 million and will be operational in 2016.
President Cristina Fernandez’s government says the project is part of China’s plans to reach the moon in 2020.