January 23, 2012

China's White Papers on Space: An Analysis

Bookmark and Share

January 20, 2012

The three White Papers provide overall, basic information about the Chinese Space agenda. They highlight the fact that China has achieved important breakthroughs in a relatively short time and can be viewed as a rapidly rising Space power. The emphasis in the White Papers is on the civilian aspects of the Chinese Space programme. This could, in a sense, be regarded as the tip of the iceberg, focusing on the civilian aspects of the Space agenda while hiding deeper strategic intentions. China's international alignments and cooperation in the Space arena indicates that it views Space technology as an instrument to boost its soft power status.

It is important not to view the Chinese Space programme in a limited sense as an attempt to demonstrate technological or military superiority. It is as much about showing visionary leadership as an attempt to achieve great power status by putting a Chinese on the Moon, the first country envisaged to do so in the 21st century.

Download Issue Brief

No comments: