Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/10/19

Why China Tiptoed onto the Far Side of the Moon

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   3 comments
Author 88820
Message Consortium News
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

Original here

- Advertisement -

By Patrick Lawrence


When China landed a space probe on the far side of the moon last week, it was a first for humanity. The Chang'e 4 spacecraft touched down on Thursday and then sent a rover to explore and photograph lunar terrain we Earthlings had never before seen. This feat is up there with the U.S. moon landing in 1969. But while the scientists who designed the Chang'e 4 probe were properly proud, China's state-controlled media buried the story beneath the day's more mundane news. As one space analyst put it, the silence was deafening.

The New York Times reported: "Compared with previous missions, however, the reaction to Thursday's milestones seemed strikingly restrained, both in the country's state-run news outlets and on social media. On China's most-watched TV news program early Thursday evening, the landing declared a success by officials at mission control was not even one of the four top stories." (CGTN, China's state-owned English language TV broadcast geared towards the West, however, ran more than 15 stories about the moon landing between Wednesday, Jan. 2 and Friday, Jan. 4.)

- Advertisement -

Why would this be? Why would Xi Jinping's hyper-ambitious China go relatively quiet after demonstrating that its swiftly developing technological capabilities are making the nation the global leader its president thinks it is destined to be?

Mike Pompeo suggested an answer the same day the Chang'e 4 touched down on lunar soil. President Donald Trump's secretary of state chose last Thursday to warn the Iranians to drop their plans to launch three satellites into space over the next several months. Pompeo dismissed these projects as nothing more than a cover to test intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of bearing warheads.

These events are not unrelated.

- Advertisement -

Yes, the Trump administration has started a trade war with China. But Washington's quarrels with Beijing are about far more than trade. The U.S. proposes to sanction Iran to kingdom come, so as to limit its leverage as an emerging power in the Middle East. But the U.S. administration's dangerously aggressive policies toward Tehran are about more than the Islamic Republic's regional influence.

Larger Theme

There is a larger theme here that is not to be missed: Maintaining America's lead in advanced technologies is now essential to preserving U.S. primacy. And China and Iran are among those middle-income nations whose scientific and technological advances will at some point challenge this lead.

In effect, Washington appears intent on imposing a development ceiling on any nation that resists its global hegemony. And of all the unpromising foreign policies the U.S. now pursues, this has to count among the least thought-out. Attempting to limit any nation's aspirations to climb the development ladder is a straight-out loser. No one who understands world history since the decolonization era began in the 1950s can possibly conclude otherwise.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have increased steadily since Beijing announced its Made in China 2025 Initiative several years ago, and it is hard to imagine this is mere coincidence. As one of Xi's core strategies, Made in China 2025 designates 10 high-technology industries -- robotics, pharmaceuticals, cutting-edge telecom networks, advanced machine tools, and the like -- in which China proposes to make itself a global leader. All 10 of these industries are currently dominated by the U.S. and other Western nations.

Since Xi's program began, Washington has made persistent efforts to limit its progress. Last year the State Department began a program intended to restrict the number of Chinese students permitted to study at U.S. universities.

- Advertisement -

In two much-noted cases, the Commerce Department has gone after leading Chinese high-tech companies, ZTE and, most recently, Huawei, charging both with violations of U.S. restrictions on exports to Iran and North Korea. Legislation now prohibits the federal government from purchasing products from either company.

Justice Department on a Tear

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Consortium News Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Consortiumnews.com was founded by Robert Parry in 1995 as the first investigative news magazine on the Internet. The site was meant to be -- and has become -- a home for important, well-reported stories and a challenge to the inept but dominant (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Did Clinton's Emails Expose CIA Agents?

A Demand for Russian "Hacking" Proof

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

Judith Miller's Blame-Shifting Memoir