• While the budget of the U.S. space agency NASA has been cut substantially, China's space program has benefited from its economic boom and political support.
  • Dean Cheng, of the Heritage Foundation think tank, said the U.S. space industrial complex is failing in long-term planning and is aging compared to China's. It is particularly lacking in Chinese speakers with the scientific skills needed.
  • Xi has said he wants China to establish itself as a space superpower, but Beijing has insisted its program is for peaceful purposes. Fears of a space arms race mounted in 2007 after China blew up one of its own weather satellites with a ground-based missile.

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