China's space program and national power

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In the next decade, China has ambitious long—term goals for its Shenzhou space program. Already a great source of national pride, Beijing plans to put men on the moon by 2010 and build a space station similar to the Russian Mir station. 

With mounting social problems at home and growing tensions with Japan and India abroad, the Communists see many benefits of turning people's attention toward the heavens. 

The Christian Science Monitor analyzes the possible diplomatic and military implications of an increasingly confident Middle Kingdom.  While Tokyo and New Dehli have not made human space flight a priority, China sees it as a way to gain more international respect.  They note:

Japan's space program, according to a recent Rand Corp. report, has seen numerous failures and problems over the past decade and faces an uncertain future. India's relatively low—key space agency has the capability to launch large satellites and has announced plans for unmanned moon exploration by 2007.

The article goes to say:

In its annual report on Chinese military power, the Pentagon voiced concern over China's space program. Military capability and strategy "is likely one of the primary drivers behind Beijing's space endeavors and a critical component" of the country's financial investment in space, the July report said.

Brian Schwarz   10 17 05

In the next decade, China has ambitious long—term goals for its Shenzhou space program. Already a great source of national pride, Beijing plans to put men on the moon by 2010 and build a space station similar to the Russian Mir station. 

With mounting social problems at home and growing tensions with Japan and India abroad, the Communists see many benefits of turning people's attention toward the heavens. 

The Christian Science Monitor analyzes the possible diplomatic and military implications of an increasingly confident Middle Kingdom.  While Tokyo and New Dehli have not made human space flight a priority, China sees it as a way to gain more international respect.  They note:

Japan's space program, according to a recent Rand Corp. report, has seen numerous failures and problems over the past decade and faces an uncertain future. India's relatively low—key space agency has the capability to launch large satellites and has announced plans for unmanned moon exploration by 2007.

The article goes to say:

In its annual report on Chinese military power, the Pentagon voiced concern over China's space program. Military capability and strategy "is likely one of the primary drivers behind Beijing's space endeavors and a critical component" of the country's financial investment in space, the July report said.

Brian Schwarz   10 17 05