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China should have own ambitions

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily Online)

15:03, October 08, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The launch of the Tiangong-1 spacecraft has attracted the attention of the world and some TV viewers in some foreign countries even watched the live broadcast in late September. The public opinion is generally neutral.

Some have made objective evaluation of the event, giving good-willed blessings to China’s technological progress and expressed desires to extend cooperation with China, while others have expressed concerns that their own leading space positions are being challenged.

The concerns have mostly come from the United States. Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin recently said at a hearing of NASA's supervision committee that China has almost the same strength with the United States as a strong space competitor.

It is impossible for the world’s largest developing country to have the same strength as the largest developed country. China’s explorations in space technology could by no means challenge in the near future the leading position of the United States.

Americans tend to have awareness of potential dangers and inspire themselves by exaggerating rivals’ strength. As a potential competitor, China’s development pace is so rapid and it is so different from the United States in terms of cultural traditions and political system. All of the aforementioned factors have turned China’s launch of the Tiangong-1 into a piece of “incentive” news and even made it relevant to the evolvement of the world geopolitical landscape. The “uncertainties’” in China’s development are largely generated in this way.

The concerns held by the United States run some risks. The United States has viewed China’s normal development as a challenge -- the negative impact of which is not limited to the false interpretation of the intentions of China’s development. Therefore, some U.S. experts with far sight are worried that if the United States really takes China as its rival, China will eventually regard the United States as its opponent.

China has long been committed to contributing to the well-being of the mankind. As a major economic power, China is bound to adopt a comprehensive development strategy, so it is natural for the country to carry out its space program and to launch the Tiangong-1 space laboratory module. China has been paying great attention to the role of technological innovation in transforming its economic growth model. As it continues to increase input into scientific research, the country will make more breakthroughs in cutting-edge technologies in the future.

Instead of being worried about China’s rising power, foreign countries should pay attention to how China uses its power. It would be unwise to regard the Tiangong-1 as a space threat because China’s peaceful development strategy determines that it stands against the weaponization or any arms race in outer space.

China will not change its principle of peaceful use of outer space because of a space station. Western countries firmly believe that a major power is bound to seek hegemony, but that does not apply to China. They will make more mistakes if they continue to view China’s peaceful development with their outdated mentality.

The Newsweek magzine published an article on “Ping-Pong diplomacy” about 40 years ago. An American professor said at the end of that article that U.S.-China relations might warm up if the United States can realize that China has its own difficulties and ambitions, just like any other country in the world. Although much time has passed, the professor’s words still have great practical significances.


Leave your comment4 comments

  1. Name

Tan Yew Guan (Singapoe) at 2011-11-01220.255.1.*
Just ignore those nincompoop from the US!They have nothing to say but posting non-meaning ideas and criticismChina space exploration is the pride of Chinese and Asian as well, it is also for the benefit of mankind in years to comeMarch forward China!
PD User at 2011-10-12222.75.167.*
See at 2011-10-1160.50.1.*
It look to me that US is indirectly scare China that china will overtake US in all things. There is no way US can prevent china overtaking US in near future. Each time china come up with new things US are so worry and start alll sort of verbal war. US is "Kia Su" nation as hokkien saying( scare to loose)
romano at 2011-10-0980.94.16.*
Right.China oneself to create own program space"s so should still development oneself.Cooperation american-russian in space to stop russian on level 1985 year.

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