October 24, 2005
CHINA: A 'CONQUEST OF SPACE' AHEAD OF RUMSFELD VISIT
** Regional media react positively to Rumsfeld visit, highlight opportunities.
** Chinese sources praise technological advancement illustrated by space launch.
** Outlets debate seriousness of the "China threat."
** Shenzhou-6 launch inspires reflection upon "on the ground" situation in China.
'Rumsfeld visit is a must'-- Referring to Rumsfeld's neoconservative "hawk" epithet, regional media lauded the trip as an opportunity to "restore some trust and momentum" to U.S.-China relations. Taiwan's conservative China Post argued the "visit is long overdue," adding that the "depth of distrust...is not easily overcome." However, Hong Kong's pro-PRC Wen Wei Po stated the visit will "help to strengthen exchanges between both armies," and another analyst remarked the visit "has been both constructive and well-timed." One PRC writer said Rumsfeld's visit "symbolized that the Bush administration is still fine tuning its China policy."
Successful Shenzhou-6 launch 'a mythological dream'-- A Hong Kong outlet suggested the Shenzhou-6 "mission will invite jealousy" on "an international political level." PRC papers considered the launch a "new and great milestone" that showed China's enhanced role on the world stage as a member of the "space nation club." Official Communist Party People's Daily called the mission one of China's "contributions to the causes of science and peace of mankind." Indonesia's leading independent daily Kompas observed that "prestige is obviously a factor in this achievement." Hong Kong's independent Sing Pao Daily News countered, "national defense implications cannot be denied."
China 'threat theory has been taken to space'-- The space launch provided a basis for speculation by commentators about the "China threat." Malaysia's government-influenced Nanyang Siang Pao claimed the "greatest concern...would be the military threat [of] China's space advancement." However, multiple Chinese analysts argued that the space-military link was being exaggerated by both the United States and the media. One editorialist accused some countries of "groundlessly link[ing]" the launch and "China's national military strength." Germany's center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung emphasized the value of seeing "China as a partner and not as an opponent or future enemy."
Need for 'strong and solid economic foundations'-- Observers warned that though the space program is "important," it is "inferior to the more pressing task of building the motherland." The search for "space technology...should not become overheated," cautioned Hong Kong's center-right Oriental Daily News. Independent Hong Kong Economic Times advised that China "act according to its ability" in order to avoid "the space race trap." A German daily noted the launch could "distract attention" from "social deficiencies" in China, while another German writer declared that "those who think this would stop China's race to catch up are faced with a rude awakening."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, email@example.com
EDITOR: Sarah S. Reed, Rupert D. Vaughan
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet. This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government. This analysis was based on 52 reports from 12 countries October 13-21, 2005. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
FRANCE: "Chinese Revolution"
Right-of-center Le Figaro commented (10/18): "The West’s embargo on dual technologies, the threat of U.S. sanctions, and Moscow’s desire to contain the ambitions of its neighbor have penalized China’s conquest of space.... Yet the space program 'made in China' is moving ahead...China is a source of concern for its neighbors, including Japan, not only because of its ambitions in the space sector...but also because of its increasing mastery of all technological sectors."
Petra Kolonko noted in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/21): "Will China conquer space after having conquered the world market? While the first world has just gotten used to the fact that China is now a serious economic rival, the People's Republic is reaching for the stars.... China challenges the world with heavily subsidies research and technology programs, many eager and diligent workers, and a government that can pursue long-term strategic goals because it is not democratically controlled. The world is impressed and stares with fascination at the rise of the dragon and forgets that there is a confusing diversity behind China's modern face. There are innumerous social, cultural and political obstacles on China's path to become a superpower. China cannot just be described in high growth numbers and respectable technological achievements.... According to the World Bank, 200 million Chinese are living in poverty. According to China, which sets a threshold mark of an annual income of just 66 euros [80 dollars], 26 million people live below the poverty line. The People's Republic affords space program worth billions but does not manage to fund its schools in villages and to provide basic medical care for its farmers."
"Stomping In China"
Christoph Schwennicke editorialized in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/19): "Donald Rumsfeld loves open words. He was therefore frank and impolite in the beginning of his visit to China, saying that Beijing pursues a massive armament program and understates its military ambitions.... Rumsfeld is not the only politician concerned over the Red Dragon's urge for more modern weapons. Korea, Japan and especially Taiwan--the entire region is fearfully watching Beijing. Though, China's neighbors and American experts pursue a different style and policy than the Pentagon's poltergeist. They would like to integrate the People's Republic of China into the international order by agreements and treaties. This requires seeing China as a partner and not as an opponent or future enemy. Too many Republicans in Washington are thinking along the lines of an unavoidable Sino-American conflict. This intellectual armament is a dangerous strategy."
Business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf argued (10/13): "China's second manned mission...is more than just a prestige object. It illustrates the breathtaking rise of the country to a technological superpower. The advance in knowledge of the western world with Europe at the helm is melting in a breathtaking speed, and an end to this development is not in sight.... The awareness of the consequences of this development is growing too slowly in Europe. Competitive pressure on Europe will dramatically increase.... Europe will have a chance only if it faces up to this technological race with China. But Europe's governments rely on nice speeches saying that it is necessary to invest more money in knowledge.... And working conditions in China have become so good that an increasing part of Europe's companies transfer part of their development departments to China. Admittedly, China is a country with enormous internal tensions, and the gap between the wealthy and the poor is still immense. But those who think that this would stop China's race to catch up are faced with a rude awakening."
"A Propaganda Enterprise"
Center-right Wetzlarer Neue Zeitung noted (10/13): "There is no doubt that the five-day space flight of taikonauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng...is a propaganda enterprise. And this propaganda is directed to the public at home as well as to an international public. By presenting itself as a nation that has the necessary technology to conquer outer space, China can now continue to stimulate the people's pride of their own country. And at the same time, it can distract attention from all technical and social deficiencies that determine everyday life in China. At the same time, China shows that it is willing to play an important role in the concert of the major powers, if--to use a term from the formula one races--it is not even willing to conquer the pole position."
ITALY: "Chinese Rearmament, A U.S. Nightmare"
Luca Vinciguerra from Beijing opined in leading business daily Il Sole-24 Ore (10/19): "U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Beijing yesterday, on a sensitive mission: putting an end to a period of difficult relations between China and the United States.... However...the real motivation urging Rumsfeld to take his first trip to China is different: getting a first hand knowledge of China’s plans for its armament expansion, recently a reason of as great concern for the White House as all other controversial issues on the table, such as the liberalization of Yuan and an unfair competition played by Chinese products. The Pentagon triggered this concern last July: China is spending a fortune in armaments (90 billion dollars only in 2005, according to U.S. assessments), with the risk of destabilizing the Asian political and strategic balance. This is an insulting campaign made up by the 'hawks' of the Bush administration to control China’s commercial and economic growth that annoys the U.S., Beijing rebutted.... However, currently the rise of the Chinese military is a factor that the world should take into consideration.... In reality, for some time now, China apparently spends three times more every year to augment its stockpile. It is yet quite unlikely that Beijing will confess Rumsfeld this terrible truth."
"U.S. Fears A Military Challenge"
Paolo Mastrolilli from New York opined in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (10/13): "The Chinese government was careful to guarantee that the Shenzhou VI space mission only holds peaceful scientific objectives. Even if that is true, such an initiative automatically bears militarily applicability and capacity. For this reason, the United States is preoccupied by Beijing’s program, because the U.S. sees it as a potential risk for its space supremacy. At an economic level, there is still quite a great difference.... But some [Chinese] positive results are clear, and represent three different threats.... China can improve a technology that could...have military applications...second...Beijing is developing capabilities aimed at attacking U.S. satellites...third...if successful it would be the third country with these types of missions, after the U.S. and Russia--placing the country in competition with Washington and threatening the U.S. role as the World’s only superpower.... All these reasons prompt the U.S. to consider China as a space rival, rather than a partner."
RUSSIA: "Sailing Aboard A Heavenly Boat"
Vladimir Kuzar opined in centrist army-run Krasnaya Zvezda (10/18): "The Shenzhou-6 mission is cause enough to speak of the Chinese being quite realistic about their space program.... The Americans must be concerned, as they view outer space as their private preserve. According to many U.S. experts, America may have to pay dearly for underestimating China's accomplishments in space exploration. An analysis of comments on the Chinese space program shows that they speak of U.S-Chinese rivalry, with few mentioning the country that did so much to pioneer outer space. Unfortunately, Russia finds no place in that rivalry, its space industry in a deep crisis. Hopefully, the Federal Space Program for 2006-2007, approved by the government, will repair the situation."
"Rummy In China"
ORF U.S.-correspondent Eugen Freund commented on Oe1 Evening Journal (10/21): "U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is in Beijing--the first official visit of the Pentagon boss to China in the past five years. Since April 2001, relations have been strained as a result of a collision between a Chinese and an American airplane. The Chinese detained 24 U.S. soldiers for eleven days after that. Now, Chinese and Americans have once again found common ground, even if not all disagreements have been cleared up. They are not really adversaries but also not exactly friends. Militarily they are going separate ways. The only parallel is that they are both pouring a lot of money into the military. No one in the West knows exactly how much Beijing spends on defense. This troubles Rumsfeld so much that he broached the topic right after his arrival. Despite this controversy, Rumsfeld was received in China with full honors."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "The World Needs China To Leap Forward Again"
An editorial in the liberal Melbourne-based Age asserted (10/14): "China might not like it, but political reform to sustain its economic advances is a matter of global interest. The world's second-biggest economy is already the biggest driver of global growth, trade and resource demand. China is thus at the heart of concerns about high oil prices...China's demand for resources--iron ore, coal, gas and uranium--is generating new deals and high prices.... Political and civil rights reform in China lags far behind economic reform. Economic growth alone will not settle discontent, which has simmered since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre crushed a flowering democracy movement, or right the wrongs of repression. World leaders need to convince their Chinese counterparts--by quiet diplomacy, if need be--that sustained stability and prosperity for China and the world depend on political reform."
CHINA: "The U.S. Secretary Of Defense Has Seen A Lot In China"
Huai Jing and Sun Xiuping commented in the official Communist Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (10/20): "American officials have experienced the sincerity and openness of China in person. Experts on the U.S. military said there would be many Americans interested in the results of Rumsfeld's visit. In fact, there are many more countries paying close attention to this historical visit. The arrangement of a visit to the second artillery force headquarters of PLA surprised the U.S. Japanese media kept an eye on the visit, closely reporting every step. Taiwanese media also placed emphasis on Rumsfeld's visit.... Professor Niu Jun of Beijing University indicated that Rumsfeld's visit itself is symbolic. He is a representative of the U.S. conservatives and has been an obstacle to U.S.-China military exchanges. Now his visit proves that the need for military exchanges has indeed increased. China hopes the visit will increase mutual trust on security and military issues. Rumsfeld always claimed the U.S. was at a disadvantage in exchanges, but analysts have indicated that the U.S. has shown less to China than to other countries, but China has shown more to the U.S. than to other countries.... Anyone who looks at things with an objective view would quickly be aware of the complexity of China after coming to China in person. China hopes indeed to have peace and stability. China is very confident about the direction of its development, therefore it can frankly welcome Rumsfeld's visit. Increasing mutual trust will be a long process and this visit can be taken as a step forward."
"Rumsfeld's Visit To Foster Mutual Trust"
Official English-language China Daily commented (Internet version 10/19): "His trip...is of great symbolic significance and serves as a further sign of improved Sino-U.S. relations. It also shows the importance U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration place on maintaining broad ties with China.... But it is an undeniable fact that U.S. military leaders, including Rumsfeld himself, still have profound concerns about China's military development.... It is hoped Rumsfeld's visit will offer an opportunity for him to conduct candid exchanges with Chinese military leaders through face-to-face meetings so he may gain a better understanding of the peaceful intentions behind China's military modernization.... It may be unrealistic to expect breakthroughs in military relations between the two countries during the two-day visit. But as long as both sides adopt a sincere and constructive attitude in their dealings with each other, they will push forward bilateral ties and reduce the risk of miscalculation."
"Rumsfeld Comes At The Right Time"
Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post noted (Internet version 10/19): "We cannot expect the full-scale development of Sino-U.S. military relations to be achieved in one visit by Mr. Rumsfeld. After all, looking back at Mr. Rumsfeld's previous attitude on policy towards China, it can be seen that definite prejudices and worries over China still exist in Mr. Rumsfeld, and the U.S. continues to strengthen military deployments in East Asia and the West Pacific region, and is consolidating its military presence in the Central Asia region, and these are all definite moves adopted to encircle China. But when Rumsfeld and Chinese leaders sit down together, this is after an important step taken for Sino-U.S. military relations. This is because understanding is the foundation of trust, and trust is the first priority of strategic stability. In this sense, Rumsfeld has come at the right time."
"Sino-U.S. Relations Different From Traditional Great Nation Relations"
Liu Huihua, a guest researcher at Havard University, remarked in official Global Times (Internet version 10/19): "China is not a challenger to the existing international system, Sino-U.S. relations now are also not a simple repetition of the traditional model of emerging powers challenging hegemonist powers historically, and this shows that it is practical and feasible for China and the U.S. to carry out extensive strategic cooperation."
"China's Image More Dynamic Because Of 'Shenzhou VI'"
Beijing News noted (Internet version 10/18): "This is only a new starting point of China's manned spaceflight cause. While China's manned spaceflight, as well as the progress of its entire innovative civilization, has made China more prosperous, it can also bring more peace, calm and joy to the whole world. The new round of China's peaceful rise, will not simply be 'China's rise', but also a boost for advancing 'world unity'."
"Shenzhou VI: We Must Spread Peace In Space All Over The World"
Beijing's China Times (Huaxia Shibao)commented (Internet version 10/18): "Behind all the cheers, some real problems must be handled carefully.... Now, after the Shenzhou VI launch, there are also some individual countries and figures who are unfriendly to China who have groundlessly linked together Shenzhou VI and the development of China's national military strength. Regarding this, we must eliminate its negative effects internationally as far as possible."
"Space Mission Heralds A High-Tech Boom"
Official English-language China Daily opined(Internet version 10/18): "The milestone mission has ushered in a new era of China's space history.... As the start of the second phase of China's three-step manned space programme, Shenzhou VI mission will surely lay a solid foundation for further manned missions...it is time to consider the sombre fact that China's overall technological strength and competitiveness still lag far behind developed countries...it is hoped the second manned mission will herald a new wave of technological innovation to enable a rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."
"A Great Milestone For Scientific Exploration"
Official Communist Party People's Daily observed (Internet version 10/17): "This great mission shows the world once again that the Chinese people have the aspirations, confidence and ability to continuously scale new heights in science and technology.... It represents a new and great milestone in the development of high technology in China, another proud accomplishment of China's reform, opening up and socialist modernization, as well as another brilliant achievement of the Chinese people in making unremitting efforts to improve themselves and make independent innovations. The sons and daughters of the whole of China feel an infinite sense of pride.... China unfolds scientific experiments and technical tests in space entirely out of peaceful objectives. These are also its contributions to the causes of science and peace of mankind."
"The U.S. And China Looking At Each Other And Mutually Reacting"
Huang Qing wrote in the official Communist Party People’s Daily (10/14): "This year the mutual activities of the U.S. and China are quite frequent. Meanwhile there has been a fierce discussion about 'China rising' and 'China threat' in the U.S. It shows contradictory psychology of the U.S. in the face of China. The future of bilateral relations is decided by how the two look at each other and how they will conduct mutual reactions. There are two absolutely opposite opinions in the U.S. about how to look at China's rise. The relations are complicated, thus the two should deal with them in a calm and reasonable fashion. China's foreign relations focus on setting up a peaceful, stable and commonly prosperous international environment. Such a pursuit won't pose a challenge to U.S. interests. Thus the U.S. and China don't have strategic conflicting points. In fact, the U.S. and China have formed a structural dependence on each other. Deepened relations have caused more friction. The disputes are unavoidable, but in the future, seeking resolutions through dialogue, negotiation and compromise should be a common goal. Politicians should understand the basic theory of not preventing things that must happen. The U.S. should adopt such an attitude toward China's development."
"U.S. Report Rudely Interferes In China's Internal Affairs"
Official popular Beijing Youth Daily stated (10/13): "Kong Quan said during a question and answer session that the report ignores China's achievements on human rights, construction of the legal system, etc. It distorts the facts. China firmly opposes this continued wanton criticism of China on human rights, religion, the Tibet issue, etc. China advises the U.S. Congress and relevant institutes to pay more attention to their own problems and do more beneficial things for the two countries' communication and cooperation. China requests that the U.S. cease the above behaviors of interfering in China's internal affairs and adopt measures to lessen the negative influences."
"U.S. Conducts All-Day Surveillance On Shenzhou VI Spaceship"
Wen Xuan commented in the China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal (10/13): "Before the successful launch of China's spaceship Shenzhou VI, under the table various U.S. intelligence departments conducted surveillance on the launch center all day and all night.... The Pentagon's 'Space System Office' in Washington is said to be the main department collecting China's space intelligence. An American intelligence worker once said that the U.S. goal is to get to know every move in China's space plan, even including whether or not the Chinese astronauts are left-handed.... For the last 50 years, the U.S. has used almost every means to conduct a war of stealing secrets around the Jiu Quan satellite launch center in China. Japan and the Taiwan authorities also have many concerns about the launch. Taiwan collects information mainly through the listening station at Tai Bei, cooperating with the U.S. The anti-intelligence measures this year for Shenzhou VI were much stricter than they were for Shenzhou V."
"Launch Of Shenzhou VI Provokes Two Voices"
Chen Nan commented in the official Xinhua News Agency international news publication International Herald Leader (10/13): "Though China has repeatedly stated that its ongoing space exploration has a peaceful goal, some countries, led by the U.S., still exaggerate the 'China space threat theory.' For a long time the U.S. has maintained close cooperation with Russia, Japan and the EU on space development, but it is unwilling to let China gain core aerospace technology. The U.S. director of the Defense Information Center said the Pentagon sees China more and more as a direct and potential threat to the U.S. space hegemony.... Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that China's spaceship launch has a peaceful goal and will not join a space arms race."
CHINA (HONG KONG): "Rumsfeld In China To Seek Mutual Understanding"
The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News editorialized (10/20): "Mr. Rumsfeld has always been seen as a 'hawk.' His remarks in Singapore regarding China's military strength produced aftershocks. As the U.S. and Chinese militaries lack mutual understanding and trust, it is a major breakthrough for Donald Rumsfeld to visit China in person to meet with Chinese political and military leaders and to visit the Strategic Rocket Forces headquarters. The visit shows China to be a great and open country. Misunderstandings can lead to mutual suspicion and even clashes that could be dangerous to both China and the U.S.... China and the U.S. can cooperate in a wide range of areas. They have already cooperated on countering terrorism and tackling the DPRK nuclear issue. Following more frequent contacts in business, trade and culture, military cooperation between the two countries can also be established, with much room for development. When President Hu Jintao met with Mr. Rumsfeld, he said that the Chinese government attached great importance to Sino-U.S. relations. He hoped that both sides could have more exchanges to mutual trust, expand consensus and increase cooperation. With a view towards increasing mutual trust and understanding, Mr. Rumsfeld's visit to China has been both constructive and well-timed."
"China And U.S. In Frequent Contact, China And Japan Gradually Drifting Apart"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Wen Wei Po opined (Internet version 10/19): "Such a hard-line 'hawk' figure towards China, finally embarking on a trip to China after four years of 'holding out', no doubt highlights a concrete achievement of China and the US' efforts devoted to building and safeguarding bilateral relations. Rumsfeld's visit to China will not only help to strengthen exchanges between both armies, and reduce the chance of misjudgements emerging between both sides; at the same time, it also signifies that relations between both countries have also made great strides forward on the foundation of mutual trust. Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Rumsfeld stated when getting off the plane, 'China's peaceful rise is welcome'. This indicates that the biggest knot in this US 'hawk' figure's policy towards China is gradually easing."
"Take The People's Actual Interests As The First Priority"
Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Times (Internet version 10/18): "The moon-landing project must proceed according to [China's] capabilities, follow a prescribed path, and take the people's actual interests as the first priority, and not fall into the trap of a space competition again, and waste national strength.... Promoting the country's current economic strength, and improving the lives of the people does after all conform to national conditions and conforms to people's needs more than realizing a moon-landing dream."
"We Must Never Neglect Important Matters On The Ground"
Mass-circulation, Chinese-language center-right Oriental Daily News remarked (Internet version 10/18): "While we develop space science and technology, we must never neglect important matters on the ground, should be earnest and down-to-earth, and be practical and realistic about the state policy to develop the livelihood of the people, and must never crave greatness and show off, and start a space contest with America, Russia and other countries. This is because although developing space science and technology is important, it is inferior to the more pressing task of building the motherland."
"The United States Wants A Soft Landing On China"
Columnist Antonio Chiang commented in the mass-circulation, Chinese-language Apple Daily News (10/18): "U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has many times criticized China’s military expansion in public, arrives in Beijing today for his first official visit. Rumsfeld’s trip will heat up Washington-Beijing ties, but in the meantime, it also indicated that the United States’ attempt to stabilize its Asian policy will remain more or less the same.... Bush has put the United States’ strategic focus as well as history’s evaluation of him in the Middle East; he can hardly divert his attention to issues in Asia and can only seek a 'soft landing' in the region via micro adjustment. Even though Rumsfeld is well-versed in the China threat, he still needs to adjust his attitude toward China for the sake of U.S. strategic interests because China now plays a key role in the United States’ plan of soft landing in Asia."
"Time To Welcome China Into Space Nation Club"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post editorialized (10/18): "China's latest achievement is not a big scientific breakthrough. Russia and the U.S. accomplished similar feats some 40 years ago. Even Beijing's more ambitious plans for future missions, including space walks and trips to the moon, are not novel. But as a measure of China's technological progress and its emergence as a major player on the world stage, they are of great significance.... Science is value free, but its applications are not. The western powers are understandably concerned that China's space program might have a military dimension. This is a reason why the U.S. has so far blocked China's participation in the International Space Station program. The Europeans have, however, embraced China in other space endeavors. Worries have also been aired of a possible space race between China and two Asian powers, India and Japan. Indeed, China's advances have fuelled the Japanese space lobby's demand for a manned space program, including building a station on the moon, over the next 20 years.... The nation's leaders have repeatedly stressed the peaceful nature of China's space program. As the world holds them to their words, it is equally important for the community of nations to show their sincerity in welcoming China into the exclusive manned space-flight club. Exclusion fuels suspicion, while inclusion engenders trust and friendship. China has now established its credentials as a space-faring nation. It has much to contribute to projects such as the International Space Station. The newest member of the club should be encouraged to play an active role."
"Program Should Develop In Down-To-Earth Manner"
The independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Times commented (10/18): "Shenzhou VI is a significant breakthrough in China's aerospace history. Its aerospace technology, however, does not lead the world. To be more specific, China's aerospace technology lags at least 30-40 years behind that of the U.S. and Russia. Nevertheless, the U.S. media and politicians depict the achievement of Shenzhou VI as a scramble for supremacy between China and the U.S., saying it would threaten U.S. space safety. The theory of 'China as threat' has been widely spread in recent years. From economics and trade to politics, military and energy consumption, China has been accused of threatening the whole world. Now, this threat theory has been taken to space. China's shadow seems to have shrouded the world, an exaggeration created by some western politicians and public opinion to contain China and stop its emergence.... If China wants to move toward space, it should develop in a down-to-earth manner. In the past decade, China has already spent $19 billion yuan to develop the foundation of its aerospace industry. Landing on the moon will be a huge program requiring billions of dollars. China should act according to its ability, rather than accelerating investment in the space industry due to ambition or provocation from the U.S. Otherwise, China will fall into the space race trap, harming the country's economic development. Building national economic strength and improving people's livelihood, in fact, more tallied with the national conditions and the needs of the people."
"Don't Let Success Go To One's Head"
Mass-circulation Chinese-language Apple Daily News noted (10/18): "We believe that the experience of exploring space is worth consultation. If China wants to expand its space exploration program in a more effective way, it should consider the more economical unmanned space program. For manned missions, China can work with other countries, such as Russia, to lower the costs to build a space cabin. In this way, China can continue to develop its own space program while avoiding a repetition of mistakes made by other countries, such as unnecessarily spending large amounts of money. For the Chinese government and its people, this is a more beneficial and sustainable development strategy."
"Shenzhou VI's Political And Economic Gains"
An editorial in independent Chinese-language Ming Pao Daily News commented (10/18): "On an international political level, Shenzhou's successful space mission will invite jealousy. It may also prompt the theory of the 'China threat.' The Shenzhou mission, however, brings about more advantages than disadvantages. For developed countries such as the U.S., the European Union and Japan, the Shenzhou program has confirmed China's qualifications for joining the international space club. In the future, China can speak with other countries on equal ground. For other developing countries, China has repeatedly promised to share its space resources with the world. This is different from the U.S. and Russia, which relied on the space race to establish their hegemonic status and seized all resources for themselves alone. Thus, China will be able to win more international support.... For China, the Shenzhou program will also bring about economic benefits by helping resurrect the satellite business. Shenzhou also benefits a wide range of related businesses, including even farmers in remote districts."
"Technological Research And Commercial Use"
The independent Chinese-language Sing Pao Daily News editorialized (10/18): "If China does not want to become a U.S. dependency like Europe or Japan, its development of space technology will be an important condition for maintaining independence and gaining strength. Although China stresses that its aerospace research will only focus on peaceful means, national defense implications cannot be denied. Today, through its advanced space technology, the U.S. has maintained world domination of space. Such leverage was revealed in the Iraqi war and the fact that the U.S. missile defense system has a mini 'star war' mode. Apart from national defense, U.S. achievements in the aerospace industry have also reaped economic benefits as military technology has converted to civil technology. These technologies can be used to navigate weapons, forecast the weather or develop a global navigation system for ships and cars. China should draw on this experience."
"Advance Step By Step"
Mass-circulation Chinese-language center-right Oriental Daily News stated (10/18): "For the world, space technologies have plenty of room for development. Today, our knowledge remains very limited. Although space technology can be used in our daily life and for military purposes, the cost is such that only the U.S. and Russia can afford it. In the past, the U.S. and the Soviet Union wanted to seize the lead in space, with neither of them giving ground. Finally, the Soviet Union played into the United States' hands by exhausting its national strength in the space race. It has yet to recover. Judging from the situation of today's China, space technology is still a relatively luxurious game. Although China has developed rapidly in recent years and its national strength has continued to rise, the country still has a great distance to travel to catch up with the economic and scientific advancement of developed countries. There are still several hundred million Chinese living in poverty. Per capita gross domestic product is just over U.S.$1,000, putting China on the same level as Sri Lanka. Although space technology is needed, it should not become overheated."
"Shenzhou VI Returns Successfully"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Wen Wei Po remarked (10/18): "Shenzhou VI conferred both hard power and soft power. In terms of hard power, Shenzhou VI shows that China has the capability to develop advanced technologies alone and to serve an important role in developing the world's advanced technologies. The Shenzhou VI program plays a determining role in developing China's high-tech industry. This is the core of a country's competitiveness, it's an important foundation for a strong nation and rich citizenry, and it is an important guarantee for national security. The space program will enable China to increase her economic, technological and national defense prowess. In terms of soft power, the aerospace industry can increase the nation's cohesion and self-confidence. It can also raise China's status and confer the right to speak in the international arena."
"China Replaces Japan"
Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal noted in an editorial (10/18): "While in Beijing, Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan praised Sino-U.S. 'cooperation' for boosting the world's economy. Such an assessment is not mere flattery but fact. Without the continuous supply of inexpensive consumer products from China, the U.S. could not have enjoyed long-term prosperity. When its property market bubble emerged, its rate of inflation remained low. With inexpensive Chinese goods as a foundation, the Federal Reserve could then curb inflation while relaxing monetary supply to maintain economic prosperity.... Greenspan's comments are not polite remarks. On the contrary, they show that China has already replaced Japan to become the U.S.'s most important economic partner in Asia. With so many undercurrents in Sino-U.S. relations, financial and trade relations between the two countries should be able to reduce the possibility of political and military confrontation."
"Mainland Blueprint A Step In Right Direction"
Independent South China Morning Post noted (10/14): "The mainland's growth over the past 25 years has astonished the world and established a new global economic order. But the focus on growth at all costs has come at a heavy price. The majority of the 1.3 billion population has not shared in the benefits. The growing wealth gap has been compounded by market reforms that have ravaged basic social services such as health care and education and put them beyond the reach of many. This recipe for discontent can be ignored only at the risk of social instability. That is why the Communist Party has moved to address it with a landmark shift of emphasis in the 11th Five-Year Economic Program. The blueprint issued by a Central Committee plenum as a basis for planning further economic development identifies three key elements: people, the environment and resources.... If the goals are to be realized, the central government will have to show vigor and determination in pushing ahead with the party's renewed commitment to economic reform. This remains the key driving force in economic development. The most important economic reform is reducing the role of government in day-to-day business affairs. Political reform rates only a brief mention in the blueprint. It can only be hoped it will get more attention in the months ahead. Little was also said about the role of the private sector, the main driving force of employment and economic growth. Business still faces high regulatory thresholds and barriers. Infrastructure, banking and communications are among sectors that should be opened up more to private enterprise."
"Shenzhou 6 Travels Through Space"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao stated (10/13): "China insists on developing its own aerospace industry, for which its investment is huge. Sources estimate that the cost of launching the Shenzhou 6 rocket reached $20 billion. Chinese achievements in space, however, will benefit industry and agriculture, as well as national defense technology. Most important of all, China must hold a position in the international space club if it wants to become more representative, to safeguard the interests of the Chinese people in the international community, and to demonstrate its power in safeguarding world peace. China cannot flinch, nor can it talk about peace and emergence on the world stage with 'empty hands.'"
TAIWAN: "Donald Rumsfeld’s Visit To China"
Andrew Yang, Secretary-General of the Chinese Council for Advanced Policy Studies, commented in the centrist, pro-status quo China Times (10/21): "The Bush administration stated clearly that Washington-Beijing relations are complex and that it hopes China will become a stakeholder that joins the United States in sustaining the development of the international system. [Bush’s statement] indicated that the United States still, to a certain extent, distrusts China and that it hopes Beijing will take concrete actions or make changes in accordance with the United States’ expectations and thinking. This statement not only demonstrated the pragmatism shown in the Bush administration’s China policy in its second term of office but also served as a major backdrop for the constant exchange of visits and interactions between American and Chinese high-ranking officials over the past year. Since U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has also jumped on this pragmatic wagon, it is a major purpose of his China trip this time to see if such a visit will be able to promote bilateral military interactions that will help to build mutual trust between the two sides. Nonetheless, it is not easy for Washington and Beijing to break their long-term distrust via high-level military exchanges. Before his departure for China, Rumsfeld had repeatedly and strongly questioned China’s military expansions over the past few years and doubted Beijing’s strategic intentions. Rumsfeld’s moves clearly indicated the core of Washington's mistrust toward China’s military.... Rumsfeld’s performance and attitude [in China] are an effective demonstration that there is still a long and difficult road for the military of both sides to establish mutual trust. Even though the United States’ military interactions with China seem pragmatic on the surface, but [in reality,] they still stuck to Rumsfeld’s usual style and attitude toward China, namely, he can act softly but can also be very tough sometimes. Such an atmosphere of military interaction between the United States and China seems unlikely to be changed during Bush’s term of office.... Rumsfeld’s visit to China symbolized that the Bush administration is still fine tuning its China policy. But given the fact that President Bush’s power will continue to grow weaker [as he moves toward the end of his second term], Washington-Beijing relations will remain swinging in the trials."
"The Success Of The Shenzhou XI Would Not Lead To Global Competition In Space"
Centrist, pro-status quo China Times editorialized (10/20): "A more objective statement is that China has become a major power, but not a superpower, in space via the Shenzhou XI project. The so-called 'major power in space' means that a country could independently design and complete a space project of certain scale, and China has obviously crossed this threshold. A 'superpower in space,' however, needs strong and solid industrial and economic foundations.... Comparing with the United States and Russia, China still falls far behind.... After China adopted the 'reform and open' policy [in 1979], China’s space business was obviously aimed at facilitating economic development. China’s thinking is to industrialize space technology and promote its applications.... The most possible direction for development should be focused on observation, communications, and positioning in order to support [China’s] joint operations. In the foreseeable future, it is burdensome and unnecessary for China to move toward 'militarization in the space.'"
"Ruthless Hawk Still Has To Visit China To Make Contact"
Conservative, pro-unification United Daily News commented (Internet version 10/19): "From Rumsfeld's statements, his watchful and negative views towards to the Chinese Communist Party can be seen. The U.S. hawks are by no means positive about contacts with the Chinese Communist Party, and they have the idea of encircling [China], but with the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in every aspect, constantly encircling the Chinese Communist Party is already unrealistic, and Rumsfeld must take this step towards making contact with the Chinese Communist Party."
Military Significance Of 'Shenzhou VI'"
Pro-independence Liberty Times considered (Internet version 10/18): "After China's successful launch of the 'Shenzhou VI' manned spacecraft, although they have repeatedly declared that its goal has peaceful purposes, as long as we see the entire research and launch process being led by the People's Liberation Army, it will unavoidably make people worry, is China's aerospace development really for peace as they say?"
"Reluctant Rumsfeld In PRC"
Conservative, pro-unification, English-language China Post editorialized (10/18): "The Beijing trip [by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld] is a must and can't be further delayed. China’s recent effort at Westernization, particularly in supporting the U.S.-led anti-terror war and curbing North Korea's nuclear ambition, have been helpful and gratifying. The rising China is not a fundamental rival like the former Soviet Union but a vital 'stakeholder' in advancing America's global agenda. The Pentagon hoped the visit could contribute to improving a military-to-military relationship that fractured in April 2001 with the midair collision of a Chinese fighter and an American surveillance plane over China’s southern coast. Ship visits and officer exchanges have resumed since then, but slowly. On the other hand, Beijing seeks to demonstrate, by hosting a Bush administration hardliner, that Washington is not shunning China as a looming military foe, and that China is not a security threat or a strategic competitor to the U.S.... Rumsfeld’s visit is long overdue, and hopefully will help to restore some trust and momentum to the U.S.-China military and strategic relationship. Yet the depth of distrust and misperceptions in both military establishments toward the other is palpable and not easily overcome. For Taiwan, Rumsfeld’s visit is a welcome change of approach for the Bush administration. With China as a 'responsible stakeholder' in managing global affairs, Washington is better posed to maintain the peaceful Taiwan status quo."
INDONESIA: "Prejudice in U.S.-China Relations"
Leading independent Kompas commented (10/20): "China’s military development is in line with the country’s tremendous economic growth.... This reality worries the U.S. and its allies in Asia, such as Japan and South Korea. The U.S.’ expression of concern reflects its not-so-harmonious relationship with China. The two countries’ relations are filled with competition and prejudices. In geopolitical and geoeconomic competition, the U.S. regards China as its main competitor over the next few decades. Clearly, it has always been difficult for the U.S. to dictate to China. The U.S.’ demand that the Chinese Yuan not be pegged was completely ignored. The U.S. also failed to persuade China to reform its politics by encouraging democratization and respecting human rights. China maintains a communist political system that emphasizes totalitarian authority.... Like it or not, military development and impressive progresses in the economy, have turned China into a menacing figure for allies and adversaries alike."
"China Enters World Aerospace Elites"
Leading independent Kompas noted (10/19): "After scoring progress in the field of economy and in the military, China is now entering the elite field of aerospace.... Prestige is obviously a factor in this achievement, but there are other factors as well. The unique outer space environment can serve as a production site that is impossible to create on earth due to gravitation, and this will definitely be an advantage in the future. On the military side, large countries need outposts, such as surveillance satellites or space stations, to ensure strategic superiority in the global sphere. Last but not least, as futurist Alvin Toffler mentioned in his Fourth Wave concept, human beings will soon be entering the space colonization era. This last point is becoming more and more relevant as the earth is deemed increasingly helpless in sustaining the growing number of human beings and their activities. In this context, we can say China’s step is filled with visions."
MALAYSIA: "China, U.S. Should Team Up To Explore Outer Space"
Government-influenced Chinese-language Nanyang Siang Pau commented (10/18): "To the Chinese, watching the successful launch and safe return of Shenzhou 6 is a mythological dream come true. We are glad that China did not name it spacecraft as something along the line of 'space shuttle' but 'Shenzhou,' a Chinese word meaning 'fairy boat'. This 'fairy boat' would carry yet another dream for the Chinese when its 'Zhang-Er Spacecraft' lands on the moon by an expected year of 2020. To the Chinese, the aspiration of 'Zhang er ben yue' (ascension of a Chinese beauty Zhang-er to the moon and dwell there forever) fairytale is enough to encourage the Chinese to move ahead. From the launch to the safe landing of Shenzhou 6, China allowed transparent media coverage. The transparency and confidence the Chinese leaders showed have indeed pushed China to a new era of space technology. We hope China and the United States can join hands in researching and carrying out outer space exploration together for the benefit of mankind. We hope the United States would not make the similar mistake as the former USSR did when former President Reagan launched the 'Star War' strategy against the USSR during the Cold War."
"China's Offer To Cooperate In Space Technology With Other Nations"
Government-influenced Chinese-language Nanyang Siang Pau editorialized (10/18): "When all the excitement over the successful launch of Shenzhou-6 is over, it will be time for Chinese leaders to think hard about the cost of developing aerospace technology as the nation plans to go ahead with its 'Zhang er No. 1 spacecraft project to the moon. Space exploration is so costly that even the United States and Russia would want to join hands to conduct space research in certain areas to reduce expenses. In this regard, we laud Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's statement in which he said China would be willing to cooperate with other nations to explore space technology under a peaceful partnership program. If the aim of China is just to follow the footsteps of the United States in digging up some soils from the moon, it might be better for China to use the money wisely in other areas to build the nation."
"Launch Of Shenzhou 6 Triggers New China Threat Theory"
Leading government-influenced Chinese-language Nanyang Siang Pau editorialized (10/15): "In commenting on the successful launch of Shenzhou 6, Chinese Premier Wen Jiapao has stressed on the peaceful use of aerospace technology. Yet amid congratulatory messages from the U.S. Department of State and NASA, U.S. analysts have stressed that the launch of Shenzhou 6 has made China a superpower in aerospace and that subsequently China's military development would pose security threat to the United States. China's aerospace and military development would be linked as one and that the United States has reasons to be concerned that the space station to be built by China would trigger an international security issue. Clearly, the launch of Shenzhou 6 has triggered a new round of China threat to the international community. But the greatest concern of Japan and the United States would be the military threat China's space advancement would pose on these two nations. Yet the international community should realize that for China, a national development in all fields is the direction for China to go to defend its people from foreign invasion."
"Successful Launch Of Shenzhou 6 Allows China To Develop Device Capable Of Trailing U.S. Satellites"
Government-influenced Chinese language Sin Chew Daily editorialized (10/15): "Images of activities in orbit sent back to the earth by the two Shenzhou 6 astronauts have once again confirmed that China's aerospace engineering is progressing along a designed path. While Shenzhou 5 is a testing ground for China, the successful launch of Shenzhou 6 signifies that China is moving one step closer to gaining superpower status. Shenzhou 6 is not only a breakthrough in China's aerospace technology; it is also a breakthrough in China's military defense deployment strategy. International scientific and intelligence bodies, especially those from the United States, are tuning their satellites and radars to keep close watch on the movement of Shenzhou 6 from air, sea and land. China's ability to develop its spacecraft with the capability to change orbit has shown the military potential in space development. It will enable the China defense to develop a device capable of trailing U.S. satellites. This is one of the biggest loopholes in U.S. aerospace engineering. We cannot rule out the possibility that the U.S.-China military race will be upgraded from land to space in the near future. The successful launch of Shenzhou 6 has made the world community realize that China is not only an emerging economic power, it is also an emerging technology giant."
"China Should Keep Low Profile In Space To Avoid New Space Threat Doctrine"
Government-influenced Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily noted (10/15): "If China believes that its development in space technology will not create any harm to the world community, there is indeed no need for its leader to highlight and repeat its peaceful mission in space engineering. With the recent setback in the US shuttle project, highlighting the speedy development in space technology by the Chinese leader can only create tensions with countries such as Japan, Russia, India, and the United States. The economic emergence of China has already made China an influential power in the region. With China's expansion into space, we are afraid that a new China threat doctrine in space would soon be formed and boost a new round of space race among the leading world powers."
"Successful Launch Of Shenzhou-6 Carries Peaceful Message From China"
Government-influenced Chinese-language daily Nanyang Siang Pau editorialized (10/13): "The successful launch of Shenzhou-6, the second spacecraft by China, is a mark of honor and excitement not only for the people of China but for all overseas Chinese communities as well. It shows that China's aerospace technology has continued to frog-leap to a new age as predicted. After the launch, Chinese Premier Went Jerboa stressed that 'China develops space technology purely for peaceful purposes' and that 'China is willing to cooperate with other nations in the development of space science and technology.' The statement by Premier Went has given us the assurance that China's research into space would bring a contribution to mankind. Ever since the successful launch of Shenzhen-5 in 2003, some countries, especially the United States and Japan, have shown great concern and kept watchful eyes on aerospace development in China. Selfishly, the United States would very much like to keep all advanced aerospace technology to itself so that the country can continue to be regarded by the world as the one and only superpower. On the other hand, Chinese leaders have more than once stressed the importance of China wanting to emerge in the world community through economic and peaceful means. Went Jerboa's statement on peaceful use of space has again reinforced China's policy in international development. We hope that China, Russia and the United States can sincerely join hands to develop space for peaceful use."
NEW ZEALAND: "New World Order Set To Test U.S.'s Competitiveness"
William Pesek Jr. commented in top circulation, left-center New Zealand Herald (10/18): "Of all the mistakes the United States is making in dealing with China's rise, the most obvious is: thinking we've seen this before. Well, we haven't. Never before has such an underdeveloped economy with such a huge population and history of innovation muscled its way on to the world stage so fast.... For politicians in Washington, China is a perfect scapegoat on which to pin their nation's challenges.... Even if U.S. politicians are wary of China, many executives aren't.... Companies are relying on its cheap labour and land to pump up profits. Consumers are happy to load up on low-cost Chinese goods.... The U.S. should tread carefully here. Few doubt a natural rivalry is developing between the U.S. and China. The need to secure access to energy and commodities alone ensures it. Officials in Washington should not fight China's rise or try to contain it. Doing so would be futile and counterproductive. Global powers never give up voluntarily and the U.S. is right to feel antsy about China's potential."
CENTRAL AND SOUTH ASIA
INDIA: "China's Major Leap In Space"
Centrist The Hindu observed (Internet version 10/19): "What is notable about the Chinese manned space programme is the clear-sighted pursuit of long-term goals without undue haste. The declared aim is to establish a permanently crewed space station, which analysts say may happen only in the next decade.... Inevitably, this success raises the issue of whether India ought not to be pursuing manned flight. Given that even basic needs, such as clean drinking water, adequate nutrition, shelter, health care and education, are denied to millions of Indians, it is important that manned spaceflight and its expense are considered not in isolation or in terms of national prestige, but in relation to India's priorities for the welfare of its people and the sustained development of its economy. Maybe one day, at an appropriate time, China and India--ancient civilisations that are, way and ahead, the world's two most populous countries--will be able to join hands and explore worlds beyond Earth."
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