OK, the Chinese can steal our manufacturing capacity, and maybe we’ll stand by in the hope of selling that vast market what few products we still make. And they can buy weapons technology from our supposed friends, rattling it at Taiwan, and we’ll content ourselves with sending a carrier into the strait now and then. And if they want to massacre their own people and try to keep it a secret, maybe there’s little we can do — our resources may be vast, but they are finite, and we’re kind of tied up fighting tyranny elsewhere. We even let them get away with violating the Monroe Doctrine by forming strategic alliances in our own backyard.
But now they’re really tromping all over our turf: As this story reports, they’re firming up their plans to go stake a claim on the moon:
China will begin an effort to send astronauts to the moon in about 2017, with a landing some time after that, official media said Wednesday, citing a senior official of the lunar probe program.
The moon landing would cap a lunar program begun in 2004 with the launch of a probe. In October, China launched its second manned space flight, a successful five-day mission.
JFK and the nation he led would never have stood still for this, and neither should we. If we’re not willing to go back and be there waiting for them, we should still try to defend our claim somehow. What with its being fictional, I don’t think the Larkin Decision applies here. We got there first.
Now that I’m done with the chest-thumping, I should point out (for the benefit of the irony-deprived) that I don’t think any of that stuff in the first paragraph is OK. I am being somewhat facetious. But we are pretty much standing by and letting it happen, and when you total it all up, it’s a disturbing picture. And the moon-landing business just adds to it. We who have done it long ago may snort at the Chinese doing something that is SO last century, but they understand what we understood in the ’60s — such an achievement would have great symbolic value in terms of how the world views them.
And that has enormous value to them in their determined bid to make this the Chinese Century. React to this as you will.