Space used to be a domain that was ruled by the Soviet Union, now Russia , and the United States . Just recently China radically altered that balance of power. They have put men in space and have ambitious plans to expand their space program into an internationally envied operation. They just announced that they will try their first space walk in 2008. That walk will be another milestone towards meeting their ultimate goal of landing on the Moon. One can only dream of the true plans of the communist regime, but most likely it includes colonization of the Moon. Far stretch? Maybe, but where can they expand on Earth without major conflict? No where. A population large, their ever growing economic consumption of natural resources and their desire for world recognition makes the concept of colonization very plausible.
China has voiced, many times, that they want to become a part of the international efforts in space. That is ultimately due to the fact that they would then have access to the technology required to advance their space program. China is not afraid of stealing technology to advance their motives. From corporate espionage, buying black market technology, to traditional spying, China is always looking for ways to steal technology. They save time and resources by building upon what has already been completed China’s silk road economic belt. From an economic and efficiency standpoint it is the best way for China to advance towards its goals.
Developing colonies on the moon would give the Chinese bragging rights and dominance of space. Can the United States or Russia beat them to it? They would be able to if they devoted the necessary resources, but that is not a likely scenario. There are too many other pressing concerns. China on the other hand can devote resources to their program and where they cannot develop the technology themselves they will seek to steal it. Modern combat relies heavily on space dominance, from Global Positioning Systems to communications; whoever controls space has the edge in today’s battlefield.
A colony on the Moon could quickly be militarized, if that was the intention of China . The colony concept could be used as an economic tool, an ideological tool or a military tool. In reality it could be used as all three. The dark secretive plans of the Chinese government are hard to guess, but Moon colonization is not too lofty. It has potential. While we may not see a colony within the next 20 years, the Chinese have patience. Their master plan could be 75 years down the road, but if they do have a serious plan and are allocating resources adequately they are light years ahead of us.