Posted 23 марта 2021, 12:46
Published 23 марта 2021, 12:46
Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Yuris Paiders,journalist, China Policy Expert (Latvia)
Russian space agency Roskosmos has signed a long-awaited cooperation agreement with its counterparts at the National Space Administration of China. The agreement provides for the creation of a joint space station on the moon. It is expected that Russia and China will also invite other countries to participate in the project, thereby creating an intriguing space alliance to confront the US and the EU.
The signing of the agreement is another step by Russia in its attempts to strategically distance itself from Washington and move closer to Beijing. It also marked the end of more than 25 years of space cooperation between Russia and the United States. Until now, the Russian space industry has sought to cooperate with the United States, and the pinnacle of this cooperation was the creation of the International Space Station.
Now Russia has made it clear that it intends to side with China, even if it means being a "little brother" in these relations. The move is also a way for Russia to withdraw from NASA's newest Artemis project, which will land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024.
It is clear that the balance of power between Moscow and Beijing has changed dramatically since Soviet times and in no way in favor of the Kremlin. Russia's economy is at best on the level of a mediocre Chinese province. In terms of technological development, Beijing is at least ten years ahead of Moscow. Even in the space industry, China is one step ahead of a lagging and corrupt Russia.
In fact, the agreement between Roscosmos and the National Space Administration of China means that Putin and the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin have decided to abandon the ambitions of sovereign Russia to conquer space and will henceforth mainly support China's space strategies.
Beijing will no doubt use this to challenge American influence in space in the long run, as it will soon become the main arena of geopolitical disputes. China alone would not have been able to challenge the United States in this way, but, having learned the experience of Russia, it could become a serious competitor for Washington.
Thus, China's plans are likely to include the creation of an alliance for the conquest of space - something like NATO - that will be used to stop the expansion of the United States and its allies in the solar system.
Given how incapable the EU has looked on the international stage in recent years, the only player able to counter the combined influence of China and its new satellite, Russia, is the United States. It seems that the administration of President Joe Biden understands this - the early days of Biden's presidency were characterized by a very aggressive approach to US relations with China.
One of the goals of the new administration will be to stop China's global ambitions - a welcome move, because otherwise the entire civilized world risks falling into the clutches of the "red dragon".
However, the Biden administration should not focus solely on current threats, but should also consider long-term ones - and it is very likely that these threats will come from space. President Biden must be determined and stern about China's expansion, not only around the world, but also in space. This could be one of the most difficult and significant tasks of the Biden presidency - the head of the "red dragon" must be cut off before it reaches space.