October 15, 2003

Reds in Space!

COMMUNIST CHINA* has successfully conducted a manned space mission into low-Earth orbit. We at The Rant consider this development somewhat troubling.

Now, the blogosphere's reaction to the event has been pretty muted. Dean Esmay -- from whom we stole most of the links in this article, with not even a by-your-leave -- remarked that he hoped it would spur more private investment into space, so as to eliminate needing NASA's involvement in getting there. Others, such as Rand Simberg, were unimpressed with the mission. And Andrew Cory said of the taikonaut, "You make me proud to be human!"

However, some folks closer to Communist China than all of us are a bit more concerned, and we think they are right to feel that way. Consider what engineer Frank Kung pointed out to the Associated Press: "Whatever China does, it does to strengthen its defense, so this is not good for Taiwan." Seoul-based designer Lee Won-hak, meanwhile, said much the same: "I feel a bit threatened by the country’s development."

Now, obviously, one space launch is not a sign we ought to panic any time soon. However, we should be prepared for Communist China to advance quickly in developing its nascent space program. We should further be prepared to counter the inevitable military uses for that program, which its armed forces will almost certainly develop. That's not to say we should address this issue itching for a fight, but merely to say that it might be a good idea to have the infrastructure in place to combat any potential threats.

Also: we must get to Mars before they do.

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* style note: We realize that the use of "Communist China" may seem a bit archaic. However, we consider the legitimate Chinese government to be based in Taipei. The Beijing-based Government merely happens to lead 22 renegade provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities, in addition to the special zones of Hong Kong and Macao.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at October 15, 2003 10:13 PM | TrackBack