China Policy Institute Blog

Space Station Politics

Written by Roger Handberg. We are now entering the third wave in space station construction: the first occurring in the 1970s with the Soviet Salyut series of space stations and the American Skylab; the second saw more complex structures with the Soviet/Russian Mir space station and the Space Station Freedom which morphed into the International …

Warfare and China’s Space Program

Written by Larry M. Wortzel. China launched its first satellite into space in 1970, about twelve years after the United States. In manned space flight, China’s Shenzhou program trailed the U.S. and Russia (then the Soviet Union) by more than forty years. However, China made up for lost time quickly. Since publishing its first “white …

China in Space: Carrying Forward the Spirit of Two Bombs and One Satellite

Written by James A. Lewis. Manned spaceflight is not economically rewarding. Nor does it provide military advantage, which is best gained from unmanned craft. The scientific benefits of manned spaceflight have long been exhausted since most programs only repeat things done decades ago. But manned spaceflight is not without profit when measured by its political and …

China’s Big Gamble in Space

Written by Joan Johnson-Freese. Space activity, including everything from launch, to orbital operations, servicing and exploration– and especially human spaceflight– is difficult, risky and expensive. If it were not more countries would be claiming bragging rights. But it is, and so while most countries are users of space-provided information, only a few can claim major …

China’s National Security Space Ambitions

Written by Kevin Pollpeter. China has made impressive gains across the broad spectrum of space technologies since 2000. Eschewing its historical strategy of human wave attacks to annihilate an enemy, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is now being trained and equipped to fight “local wars under informationized conditions.” The PLA now views the ability to …

China’s Space Program

In 2003 China became the third country after the United States and Russia to launch a human into space. Yang Liwei’s successful mission on Shenzhou 5 was possible due to the accelerated program of technological development under the supervision of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). China’s space program has existed since 1956 when the …

The Kuril Islands dispute in 2014: (Yet) another setback

Written by Miha Hribernik. Russo-Japanese relations have grown closer over the past two years, before the Ukrainian crisis began to strain Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s carefully-crafted Russia policy. By summer 2014, Abe’s delicate balancing act – manoeuvring Japan between the interests of its Western partners and those of energy-rich Russia – came close to collapse …

How to fix Japan-Korea relations

Written by David A. Welch. In an earlier piece, I suggested that the first thing Japan and Korea should do to set the stage for progress on dealing with the very real issues that divide them is to signal their joint desire for improved relations and for each to acknowledge that the other is an important …

The Islands In-between

Written by Misato Matsuoka. The “Senkaku”, “Diaoyu” or “Diaoyutai” islands have been at the centre of a long-standing territorial dispute between Japan, China and Taiwan. There is no consensus about the historical trajectory of the ownership of the islands. The tensions, especially between China and Japan, have intensified, triggered by the collision between a Chinese …

Taiwan’s Pivotal Place in Asia’s Territorial Dispute Chessboard

Written by Alex Calvo. A look at the Indian-Pacific Ocean Region reveals a landscape full of territorial disputes, with more than a few featuring regular incidents and a clear risk of escalation. Right in the middle of these disputes stands Taiwan, in more than one way. First of all, geographically, the Island is right between …