China’s Space White Paper: Increasing Transparency…to a Degree
By Kevin Pollpeter
The publication of China’s Space Activities in 2011 on December 29, 2011 represents a continuing effort by Beijing to make its space program more transparent and to tout its progress. The publication of this third white paper on the space program demonstrates China’s continued commitment to its space industry and its intention to exploit the political benefits of a successful space program. The white paper documents China’s progress in developing space technologies and the increasing number of its international cooperative activities. The white paper does make it clear that China intends to build an ever more capable space program as it moves from the testing of platforms to the building of systems. The white paper, unfortunately, devotes much less time to Chinese policies governing its activities in space and, as a result, will do little to alleviate concerns over the country’s increasing national power.