Il Project 2049 Institute ha presentato alla U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission uno studio sullo stato di avanzamento dei programmi spaziali cinesi arrivando alle seguenti conclusioni:
The PRC has made significant advances in its space program and is emerging as a space power. In addition to bolstering the political prestige of the CCP, advances in space will enable more effective military operations at increasingly greater distances from Chinese shores. Over the next 10-15 years, more advanced precision strike assets, integrated with persistent space-based surveillance, a single integrated air and space picture, and survivable communications architecture, could enhance greater confidence in enforcing a broader range of territorial claims around China’s periphery.
The PLA oversees a broad and diffuse organizational infrastructure for developing requirements and overseeing R&D, manufacturing, and operation of space systems. As access to foreign technology grows, bridges between various bureaucracies established through initiatives such as the 863 Program appear to facilitate more efficient diffusion of technology within China’s civilian and military sectors. The overlap between civilian and military applications of space technology is considerable, and it is often difficult to draw a clear line of separation between them.
Aerospace power has been one of the most effective tools of PRC political and military coercion. Although other interests compete for attention and resources, the Taiwan scenario remains the principle strategic direction of PRC national security policy makers, defense planners, and acquisition authorities. Taiwan is a core interest of the United States. As such, the United States should maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan. Barring a PRC renunciation of the use of force to resolve political differences with Taiwan and a significant reduction in the PLA military posture directed against island, space cooperation likely will remain limited.
While the overall level of its space technology may not match that of the United States and other space faring nations, China’s relative advances are significant. Given asymmetries in reliance on space systems, even relative increases in Chinese space capabilities could present challenges for the United States. A survivable space-based sensor architecture, able to transmit reconnaissance data to ground sites in China in near-real time, facilitates the PLA’s ability to project firepower at greater distances and with growing lethality and speed. Trends indicate that China’s basic satellite coverage of waters and land within the Asia-Pacific region could, over time, approach that of the United States. The range of China’s precision strike assets is expanding out to Guam, Australia, Southeast Asia, and India. Space assets could provide deployed ASBM assets under the Second Artillery with highly accurate geo-locational data on intervening US forces […]
Space technology also will continue to be an important driver for economic growth. Satellite sales and launch services offer China’s defense industrial complex with an augmenting source of revenue. Technology spin offs may offer competitive advantages in certain sectors, such as satellite navigation products. Exports of space technology sales pose challenges to the United States not only because of China’s non-market based economy, but also because of military and security concerns.
China’s interaction with other space faring powers furthers national political, scientific, technological, and economic goals. Space is a significant metric of national power, and the United States remains a world leader within this domain. However, China is emerging as a relative competitor in selected areas of space technology. While collaboration in space may benefit both the United States and China, Beijing’s lack of transparency over military budgets, and potential risks associated with the military applications of space technology, remain major causes for concern.