Chinese detail ambitious space program in 2008

AP: China to Launch Rockets in Olympic Year

Wired Science: China Details 2008 Space Plans

The Chinese government has just released details of its planned space flights for 2008, leaving few to doubt the true emergence of a third player in the geo-political battle for control over near-Earth orbit. The boldest mission will be the third manned space flight launched by China and will feature the first spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut.

The much anticipated mission will be Shenzhou 7, and is slated for October. This will be a glorious time in Chinese history, provided the government can manage the seemingly impossible challenge of the Summer Olympics, and this human spacewalk will be the cherry on the proverbial sundae for the CCP leadership.

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2008 brings the reality of modern China to Western living rooms...

I <3 China - Beijing 2008 Summer OlympicsImage by kk+ via FlickrImage by kk+ via Flickr
For the last decade, China has been meticulously grooming its capital city, Beijing, for the curious eyes of eager Western consumers and potential business opportunities offered by the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has made grand promises of wealth and universal well-being to its vast citizenry, all of which hinge upon the near flawless production of the most anticipated event in the history of the Middle Kingdom.

Can the government contain the political powder-keg over which it rules? Will the world accept a Chinese superpower under Communist rule? History is hanging in the balance and nobody (least of all the CCP) knows what to expect in 2008, but I certainly look forward to sharing my thoughts on how America, and the West generally, should respond to the emergence of a more powerful and confident Chinese people.

I also welcome the submissions of papers, presentations, essays or videos anyone would like to contribute. Below I have embedded a great presentation compiled by a dear friend of mine, Victor Lang, who is a native of Hong Kong. Victor and I share many similar interests, such as China-Africa relations, international perception of Chinese politics, and domestic censorship by the CCP and corporations it intimidates to comply with their ridiculous media policies.

Happy New Year to all China Wakes readers and a toast to what will hopefully be remembered as the greatest year in the history of mankind's largest and oldest civilization.

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