China's Inclusion in Multinational Space Exploration Efforts: How Attitudes toward International Cooperation in China's Space Policy Community Change the Prospects for Chinese Participation


China is the most important recent entrant to the space exploration endeavor. China's participation in multinational exploration efforts to destinations such as the Moon and Mars and in precursor activities will influence how far and fast these missions proceed and how future global mechanisms and architectures for coordinated space exploration develop. Which space exploration efforts is China willing and able to join? What are Chinese priorities for international cooperation on space exploration? This paper examines how evolving attitudes within China's emerging space policy community are changing the prospects for the country's participation in international exploration projects. Its findings are based on original research conducted in China, including extensive interviews with Chinese space professionals. The international community could make a sustained and coordinated effort to engage Chinese space professionals and to understand China's space policymaking goals and priorities. The most promising means to these ends in the short term is the fostering of an internationally networked Chinese space community. Several means to this goal are available to other spacefaring countries, but remain under-utilized.

Meeting Name

62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 (2011: Oct. 3-7, Cape Town, South Africa)


History and Political Science

Keywords and Phrases

Exploration effort; Exploration projects; International community; Policy making; Short term; Space community; Space explorations; Space policy; Space professionals; Spacefaring; International cooperation; Space research

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2011 International Astronautical Federation (IAF), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2011