Marco Aliberti, Senior Research Fellow, the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), Vienna.

In an ever-accelerating manner, this past decade has seen China dramatically emerge as one of the world’s leading space powers. Edging alongside comes a diverse range of industrial, strategic and political-diplomatic developments, including promising prospects for the international community in terms of mutually beneficial cooperative ventures. Remarkably, and greatly beneficial to its regional and global associates, the way in which China has characterised its space endeavour is not framed in terms of isolation or competition; quite to the contrary, China has been increasingly reaching out to new international partners and calling for win-win cooperative space programmes and missions in addition to the variety of existing ones. Be this as it may, the very emergence of China as a space power has also entailed inherent competition dynamics with far-reaching impacts. Particularly in such internationally visible areas as space security, space exploration and space commerce, China’s ambitions have been fuelling a self-propelling mechanism that in the views of many is inevitably slipping into a new space (arms) race scenario.

Against this background, the webinar aims to shed some light on China’s posture in outer space and assess the regional and global implications thereof. The talk will first provide an introductory overview of “China’s Great Leap Forward in space” and a review of the technological, institutional and policy dimensions of its national space endeavour. The talk will subsequently put the spotlight on the key tenets and underlying objectives informing China’s space ambitions and outline the ensuing repercussions in terms of both cooperation opportunities and international competition prospects.

Themes covered

•    China’s rise in space: past achievements and ongoing developments
•    The technological, industrial, institutional and policy dimensions of China’s space programme
•    Disentangling China’s outer space strategy: key tenets and underlying objectives
•    Industrial, security and diplomatic implications of China’s space rise
•    Cooperation and competition dynamics in key issue-areas

  • Space security
  • Space commerce
  • Space exploration & human spaceflight

Marco Aliberti is a Senior Research Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), Vienna, where he has carried out a number of research projects in the areas of access to space and human spaceflight, governance and international relations of space, and Asia’s space programmes, particularly those of China, Japan and India. He is a member of the Space Power and Policy Applied Research Consortium, Flinders University, Australia. Prior to joining ESPI in 2012, Mr Aliberti graduated in Oriental Languages and Cultures at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and obtained a MA in International Relations from the Italian Diplomatic Academy (SIOI) in Rome, a Master of Advanced Studies in Space Policy and Institutions with the Italian Space Agency and the National Research Council, and Security Studies at the Institute of Global Studies – School of Government, in Rome. He is the author of five books on space policy and politics, including the monograph “When China Goes to the Moon…”.

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