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The ascent of China in the global power structure has become a dominant issue in contemporary geopolitics. China has been expanding into all major realms through which it could achieve its geopolitical ambitions. The outer space, where a growing number of nations have been trying to establish their foothold has therefore become a key strategic realm for China to enhance its Comprehensive National Power. China has now emerged as the leading space faring nation in Asia, and has passed well over four decades of achievements in space. From a modest satellite programme, China has come a long way and have expanded its scope to include areas like manned spaceflight, lunar exploration and commercial services; the last decade especially seeing a tremendous advancement in Chinas space related technological capabilities. Along with its scientific, developmental and commercial applications, China has also been utilizing space for military purposes. The increase in the space capabilities of China has created concerns on space as well as global security, as these capabilities are of dual purpose. These concerns have hit a new high with the anti-satellite test conducted by China in 2007.
In this context, it becomes important to assess the overall capabilities that China has acquired in the space domain. Through this work, the author has attempted to assess the key developments in Chinas space sector-both civilian and military through both longitudinal as well as cross sectional analysis. The transformation of these capabilities as tools for international diplomacy by China in order to further its geopolitical goals has also been explored. Due to the largely opaque nature of Chinas space programme, obtaining credible information has been difficult. Most of the available literature on the subject is from the Western sources, and therefore the author has endeavoured in bringing in a balanced perspective by complementing them with official Chinese sources as well as some own assessments. At the same time, the author has tried to highlight an Indian perspective with a focus on comparative capability analysis as well as policy recommendations with respect to Indias space industry.
1. Probing Chinas Capabilities in Space
2. The Emergence of China as a Space-Faring Nation
3. The Infrastructure of Chinas Space Programme
4. Chinas Space Missions
5. China and Space Weaponisation
6. Challenges for India and the Way Ahead
About the Author: V. Anand
Anand V: is a Post Graduate scholar in Geopolitics and International Relations at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University. After graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University, he went on to work as an Engineer at BEML Ltd. During his Post Graduation, he was awarded a Non-Resident Fellowship by the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi for the year 2011-12. He has also completed a two month research internship at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore on the topic "Chinas Space Capabilities: The Satellite Programme" which was published by CAPS in its 2011 issue of Asian Defense Review. He has attended as well as presented papers at various national and international seminars on international issues. His other areas of research interest lie in Chinas geostrategy, foreign policy and Sino-Indian relations