Under the China Skies

Three astronauts flew China’s Shenzhou 9 spacecraft and boarded China’s Tiangong 1 — Heavenly Palace 1 — orbiting platform. The goal is to have a permanent, staffed station in place by 2020.

China's Astronauts return from a successful missionYou know those three astronauts weren’t Moe, Larry and Curly, correct?

And did you know that so far only China has used quantum cryptography over long distances successfully? Quantum cryptography is the gold standard, the ultimate unbreakable code. They send it and only the individual who’s meant to receive it can receive it.

And it can’t be faked. There are no false positives.

While I applaud China’s success, I am confused by the West’s response to their success. The Space Race is understood to include the unspoken “US-USSR” as a predicate. The only reason the US got to the moon was to make sure the USSR didn’t. The threat of an orbiting launch platform — standard military tactics, get the highground — was too much to be ignored and so the bulk of the US GNP was devoted to getting us to the (then) ultimate high ground before anybody else. As Alexander Graham Bell said, “The nation that secures control of the air will ultimately control the world.” Pity his vision was that bound.

Take the high ground and communicate with it via an unhackable, unbreakable connection?

Whoa!

So I have to wonder. The Chinese have the world’s largest standing army and the emphasis there is on “standing”. They currently do not have a means of transporting that army anywhere quickly. They’re building ships to do so, of course, and in the meantime they’re doing something almost as good: they’re building aircraft left, right and center. The People’s Republic of China is still a distant third when it comes to military aircraft and let’s face it, if they have a successful orbiting platform everybody else will be putting their military budget into equally successful catcher’s mitts.

Yet nobody’s talking about this?

While NextStage doesn’t listen to every political speech and doesn’t peruse sites as a general rule, we do listen to various news sources. How come nobody’s talking about this? Perhaps because the People’s Republic of China currently holds a lot of US paper?

Well, no, it doesn’t. Only about 8% in fact, and that’s not all that much. It is the third largest holder, true, and the bulk of US debt — about 69% — is owned by the US and its citizens. China’s not the only holder of US debt, others include Japan, the UK and Brazil.

Long story short, China calling in its paper isn’t as much of a worry as most people think…or as most pundits and party operatives are eager to tell you.

But China owning the skies?


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