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Week of March 14, 2003

Week of March 14 , 2003

The U.S. and China This Week


DOMESTIC: China Moves Forward with Plans for Manned Space Flight

China plans to send its first manned flight into orbit this October, breaking both American and Russian records for the number of men, the period of time in orbit, and intricacy of operations for a first manned flight. The Shenzhou spacecraft is expected to take two to three men into orbit while America and Russia only sent one man on their maiden attempts.

China has huge aerospace ambitions including a space station, moon exploration by 2010, and in thelong term -- colonization of Mars. China is following in the footsteps of American in using space projects to boost technological advances, military power, prestige, and popularity.

Scientific director or the Shenzhou project, Zhang Houying, said, "In science there is only a No. 1, no No. 2. We'd like to lead in contributing to mankind."

China will not disclose the budget for the program or the names of the former fighter pilots who are training for the mission. There is also concern over the possibility of new conflict and tension of China's goals. The science of civilian science of space and the military science of missiles is very similar, and two American companies were fined earlier this year for exporting dual-use items to assist with China's space program.


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DOMESTIC: Government Cracks Down on Newspaper for Demanding Reform


The Chinese Government closed a Guangzhou weekly newspaper on March 13th after it published an article including critical quotes by Li Rui, personal secretary to Mao Zedong. Li, at 85 criticized Mao for establishing a cult of personality and Deng Xiaoping for shying away from political reform. Li went on to praise Hu Yaobang, whose death is associated with the beginning of the student protests of 1989.

The order to shut down operation of The 21st Century World Herald came from the Guangdong province propaganda department, and it is unclear whether the order is temporary or permanent. The timing of the article was especially important. It was issued during the still ongoing National People's Congress.

Journalists indicated that they took the closure as a warning against crusading political journalism in Chinese publication.



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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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