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The Chinese space silk path reaches Mars and beyond



Most geopolitical analysis is almost on Earth. But don’t forget to look up: China’s influence is rocketing the skies.

On July 23, a Long March rocket exploded from the Wencheng launch center on Hainan Island in China. The Chinese spacecraft Tianwen-1, equipped with a landing party, an orbiter and a rover, set course for Mars to begin a comprehensive survey of the Red Planet.

However, the mission on Mars is not just about discovery. It is part of a comprehensive strategy designed to bring China to the ranks of “fully developed, rich and powerful” countries by 2049.

As President Xi Jinping explained to the Taikonauts aboard Tiangong-1

, China’s first prototype space station back in 2013, “the space dream is part of the dream of making China stronger.” China Xi is no longer “hiding opportunities and keeping a low profile,” it is “striving to achieve,” he said at the time.

Under Xi’s command, the People’s Republic has launched two prototype space stations (Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2), as well as a cargo ship (Tianzhou) capable of refueling other spacecraft.


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