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A New Space Race? Con’t.

By Taylor Marvin

Daryl Morini has a thoughtful response to my piece challenging his previous argument in The Diplomat that a new space race between America and a growing China is likely in the near future.

I think the core of our disagreement comes down to the likelihood of China jumping the gap between a purely military “ASAT race” and a prestige driven exploratory competition, motivating a newly-revitalized American space effort in response. Morini argues that as China grows wealthier and more technologically capable, this jump is likely:

“But if money is the sinews of war, then this space race will be more formidable than the last.

The U.S.-China competition is not about ideology; perhaps the Cold War never truly was either. Regardless, this modern great power stand-off has the potential to redefine the international pecking order. The motive of prestige – associated with great power status since nations went to war over diplomatic protocol and seating orders – will drive the new space race as it did the last.

Those who point to this time being different to the Cold War are right. But this is the main difference: China has the economic foundation and perhaps ambition to see this race through. This might yet fuel the U.S. motivation to run it, too. Ignoring the problem is not a prudent option.”

Do read the whole piece.

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