China Sets Ambitious Plan for Space Program

China has released a white paper stating its space strategy for the next five years.

Main Features:

1. The country is committed to a peaceful use of space and opposes a space arms race.

2. China would like to work with the international community to jointly promote the development of the global space industry, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, the peaceful use [of outer space], [and] inclusive development.

3. The program must also meet the demands of economic, scientific and technological development, national security and social progress.

4. In the next five years, China will approach various space activities in a coordinated and scientific manner, and advance the all-around development of space science, space technologies and space applications.

5. The white paper echoes President Xi Jinping’s call for China to become a space power.

6. China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, becoming only the third country after Russia and the U.S. to do so. Just last month, two of its astronauts concluded a 30-day stint at the country’s Tiangong 2 experimental space station — the program’s longest manned space mission to date.

7. It has also conducted a spacewalk and soft landed its Yutu rover on the moon in 2013.