External Publications External Articles
Concept of a futuristic 3d illustration of a China base in the Moon dark side. The chinese letters means Chinese dragon, a non real name for the lunar mission in the concept.

Racing to the Moon: China's Lunar exploration program in competition with the United States ReConnect China, Policy Brief 4, October 2023

A new Cold War-style race to the moon seems to be in the making. The People’s Republic of China and the United States are both investing in moon exploration with manned lunar scientific stations as the ultimate goal. 


The comparison with the 1960s has its limits, nonetheless, because this time the race is not only to touch down the moon’s surface and return to Earth, but to promote a long-term scientific development on the moon and far beyond.

This ReConnect China Policy Brief breaks down the state of play of the China-US race to the moon, and considers the strategic ambitions, technical requirements, and necessary diplomatic support for such a great aim.


ReConnect China is a research project dedicated to strengthening independent knowledge on China in Europe. Funded as part of the European Commission’s Horizon Europe program, the four-year project brings together 15 institutions and 66 researchers across 12 European countries. Ifri will contribute policy briefs such as this one throughout the lifespan of the project, ranging from science and technology to China’s economy to foreign policy and China’s place in international affairs.   


Download the ReConnect China Policy Brief via the project’s website:
Racing to the Moon: China’s Lunar exploration program in competition with the United States

Competitiveness Space China United States