image: 
Thumbnail images: 

"The successful launch of the GSLV-MK 2 marks a milestone for the Nation's Rocket Program" by Yang Kai and Qu Jing:

http://www.bjreview.com.cn/world/txt/2014-02/10/content_595651_2.htm

 

In this somewhat complementary article soon after India’s GLSV-MK2 launch, China has provided a short overview of the development of this country’s space program from their perspective.

 

An assessment, or rather intention, of this apparently innocuous article on India’s space programme which appeared in the Beijing Review on February 10, 2014, should begin with the background of the two authors. The authors, Yang Kai and Qu Jing are claimed to be researchers with the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT), China’s premier Launch Vehicle institution. It is directly involved in research and manufacture of China’s rockets/boosters.

 

CALVT produced the Long March series of rockets which helped China leap into the third place in space programme led by the United States and Russia.

 

The concept of space exploration changed rapidly from the 1990s. In the early 1990s, Beijing saw there were aspects of space technology that they could learn from India, especially in satellite technology. An agreement was signed between the two countries on space research cooperation. But China took a huge quantum jump after a satellite launch accident in 1995 in which American companies like Loral Space and others were involved. There were some technical faults on the side of the American companies, which to keep their business with China intact, transferred a huge amount of critical technology to China secretly. This case is well recorded in American courts.

 

China was satisfied with its own space programme till India’s successful launch of a communication satellite with a GSLV-MK 2 rocket on January 05, 2014. The Yang and Qu article tried to draw the attention of the world to the breakthrough in India’s space research and its potential in the years to come.

 

China’s space agenda is increasingly moving towards weaponization of space and space warfare. They may be behind the US but are gradually catching up in some areas. They are well on their way to their own global navigational satellite system, the Beidou, following US GPS and Russian Glasnosts.

 

As in the case of nuclear weapons when the NPT was devised to keep India out of nuclear power status and states, this Chinese article appears to be an early effort to bring India under international pressure and form another international regime to limit India’s space science.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal.