China’s plan to mine asteroids and planets


The People’s Daily has published an article (in Chinese) about the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology’s “blueprint” for China’s space program in 2017–2045. The plan calls for:

  • Building a fleet of nuclear-powered rockets.
  • Dispatching regular interplanetary flights.
  • Catching up with U.S. conventional rocket technology by 2020.
  • Launching a reusable suborbital carrier by 2025.
  • Putting astronauts on the moon and bringing samples back from Mars by 2030.
  • Mining asteroids and planets in the 2040s.
  • Operating the “best transport system in space” by 2045.

The South China Morning Post has a good English summary of the People’s Daily article.  

Xi Jinping personality cult watch

Some observers worry that Xi Jinping is developing a cult of personality. In my opinion, it’s not quite a cult yet: Xi has not been described in terms like “the reddest reddest red sun in our heart,” one of the many adoring descriptions of Mao Zedong. But Chinese state media is certainly heading down that road:

  • Reuters says: “A workaholic keen swimmer with an extensive knowledge of foreign literature — China’s state news agency Xinhua on Friday cracked open the door to President Xi Jinping’s private life in an unusual and glowing profile.”
  • The English version of the Xinhua profile is here.
  • The People’s Daily, not to be outdone, published a story (in Chinese) titled “Ten real details take you to experience the leadership charisma of Xi Jinping.”
  • For the latest updates on Xi, you can always check Xinhua News Agency’s frequently updated “Study Xi” site (in Chinese).

A job posting in Washington

The Voice of America has a job opening for a China Branch Chief based in Washington, D.C. Responsibilities include managing a multimedia newsroom of about 100 journalists producing Mandarin and Cantonese content. The application deadline is midnight Eastern Time on November 29, 2017. For more information and to apply, please click here if you are a U.S. citizen, and here if you are a foreign national.