Author Topic: Using China to Flank the Russians in space  (Read 1818 times)

Online Blackstar

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Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« on: 01/21/2008 12:28 PM »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1042/1

The China gambit
by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, January 21, 2008

Last week, former MirCorp CEO, Jeffrey Manber proposed in an op-ed article in the Los Angeles Times that the United States could effectively engage China in space cooperation. Manber has essentially proposed taking a page from the Nixon playbook and using China to triangulate against Russia in space. He argues that China has newly-developed space capabilities that the United States could use, and the United States has something that China would like, access to the International Space Station (ISS). Such access would be highly symbolic and prestigious, declaring that China has arrived as a major space power and is recognized as a peer by the other space powers.

Manber’s proposal is clever and thought-provoking. He has not simply proposed cooperation with China for its own sake, or even for the benefit of improving relations with China, but to use such cooperation as a lever against the Russians. This is not the first time that someone has proposed that encouraging China in space could have strategic benefits for the United States—four years ago I wrote about the benefits of a cooperative/competitive space race with China (see “The benefits of a new space race”, The Space Review, April 26, 2004), suggesting that we encourage them to spend money on human spacecraft instead of missiles. But Manber is apparently the first to suggest that we use China to moderate the Russians, something that Nixon gained as a side benefit of his China rapprochement nearly four decades ago.

Manber makes several substantive arguments:

    * Chinese participation in ISS could eliminate America’s total dependence for manned access to the space station
    * By creating more manned transportation options to low Earth orbit, cooperation could help the US in its goal to return to the Moon
    * Civil space cooperation could provide a forum for discussions on strategic space issues
    * The United States could gain another space partner instead of a competitor
    * The cost of the ISS is still rising, and if another country wants to help pay, the United States should let them

Offline hesidu

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Re: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #1 on: 01/21/2008 01:25 PM »
I think all contires which have space ability should work together in the space exploration. It's China itself holding back it's space project, not because of it can't access to the ISS. China puts hundreds of billion budget in building it's railway network, but just put several billion in the manned-space project. The money China puts on developing new rocket and new satellites are also more than the manned-space project. Isolation just make more misunderstanding.

Offline Suzy

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RE: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #2 on: 01/22/2008 03:47 AM »
Of course, China and Russia could also team up as a "lever" against the USA in space...  ;)

Offline kraisee

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Re: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #3 on: 01/22/2008 03:51 AM »
Suzy,
I think that option is far more likely.   They have historically cooperated with each other far more than with the West.   I don't see things changing much - especially as Russia seems eminently willing to sell all of its technology to anyone willing to pay.   And China has all of America's money these days!

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Online Blackstar

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RE: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #4 on: 01/22/2008 02:32 PM »
Quote
Suzy - 21/1/2008  10:47 PM

Of course, China and Russia could also team up as a "lever" against the USA in space...  ;)

Absolutely true, which is why the United States might consider getting there first--make the approach to China before the Russians do.

Offline khallow

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Re: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #5 on: 01/22/2008 05:15 PM »
A better option would be to play all three countries against each other. Plenty of opportunity for private industry everywhere when you do that. As I see it, competition is the best form of cooperation.
Karl Hallowell

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Re: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #6 on: 01/22/2008 05:50 PM »
Quote
khallow - 22/1/2008  12:15 PM

A better option would be to play all three countries against each other.

Uh, who's going to do that?  God?

Quote
khallow - 22/1/2008  12:15 PM
Plenty of opportunity for private industry everywhere when you do that. As I see it, competition is the best form of cooperation.

Keep in mind that there are more things at stake here than simply making things good for private industry.  National security, for starters.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #7 on: 01/22/2008 06:28 PM »
Quote
Blackstar - 22/1/2008  10:50 AM

Quote
khallow - 22/1/2008  12:15 PM

A better option would be to play all three countries against each other.

Uh, who's going to do that?  God?

Quote
khallow - 22/1/2008  12:15 PM
Plenty of opportunity for private industry everywhere when you do that. As I see it, competition is the best form of cooperation.

Keep in mind that there are more things at stake here than simply making things good for private industry.  National security, for starters.

Note that khallow is from California, fifth largest country on earth economically speaking.  :cool:

(and with a very active space program)
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Online Blackstar

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Re: Using China to Flank the Russians in space
« Reply #8 on: 01/22/2008 08:01 PM »
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/1/2008  1:28 PM
Note that khallow is from California, fifth largest country on earth economically speaking.  :cool:
(and with a very active space program)

But they have not succeeded from the US, yet.

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