China in International Space Cooperation: Heading South in: Alessandro Gili (eds), The Sky Is Not the Limit. Geopolitics and Economics of the New Space Race, ISPI, 2024
In only three decades, China has become one of the world’s top space powers. At the turn of the 2020s, almost suddenly, China became the main challenger to the US, although with a significant remaining gap to bridge.
With the West increasingly closing to space cooperation, China is accelerating its pivot to the Global South, where all its diplomacy is now focused, including the BRI and the new Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI). China may succeed in developing space cooperation with countries from the Global South, and could contribute to building the space powers of tomorrow. However, this will not suffice to replace the cooperation it used to have with traditional space powers, and the political and technological state of Russia today does not help. China may soon have to rely only on itself. The bright side for Beijing is that it is already used to doing so.
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