December 31, 2011
China has released plans for a five-year space programme, including building a space station and manned missions.
Its ambitions reflect those of the US more than 40 decades ago, and have similar goals. Just as the US space programme came at a time of major economic expansion, so China’s drive comes as it grows in economic power and global influence.
Details of the programme include building space labs and manned spaceships, launching high-tech satellites and space freighters as well as deep-space exploration.
“China will work together with the international community to maintain a peaceful and clean outer space and endeavour to make new contributions to the lofty cause of promoting world peace and development,” a government white paper called China’s Space Activities in 2011, says.