MCCOTTER: For Communist China, The Sky’s No Limit

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  • 03/02/2023

Many moons ago when I served the U.S. House Republicans as their policy chair, I wrote a cheeky retort to those who claimed that there were no real communists any more.  The long-lost piece featured a People’s Republic of China astronaut expressing his pride that he was helping to bring communism to outer space.  At the time, many thought the piece was overly alarmist – of course, they were the same ones who believed that over 70 million members of the Chinese Communist Party were mistaken about their political beliefs.

Rocketing forward a decade and a half later, I couldn’t help but shake my head when I read the following analysis issued by the Gatestone Institute, an international policy council, and authored by a distinguished senior fellow and a member of its Advisory Board, Mr. Gordon Chang, who is also an intrepid champion of human freedom.  Mr. Chang’s analysis is entitled, “Will China Shoot Down Explorers to the Moon?”

Given the PRC is a genocidal communist regime, one can assume the title is a rhetorical question.

Mr. Chang, who also authored the book, The Coming Collapse of China, deftly sets forth the steps the communist Chinese regime is taking to gain strategic control of the ultimate high ground – space.  Following the historical precedent that tyrants are more than willing to express their “grand ambitions and malevolent intentions” if one is but willing to listen and heed their warning, Mr. Chang simply lets the Beijing regime speak for itself.

He cites the head of China's lunar program, Ye Peijian, who in 2017 asserted: “The universe is an ocean, the moon is the Diaoyu Islands, Mars is Huangyan Island.  If we don't go there now even though we're capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by our descendants.  If others go there, then they will take over, and you won't be able to go even if you want to.”

What is instructive, Mr. Chang informs us, is that the PRC are fighting to wrest control from Japan of the East China Sea’s Diaoyu Islands; and the communist regime has already seized control and is militarizing the South China Sea’s Huangyan Island (a.k.a., Scarborough Shoal).  Further, he notes that Zhurong is the name of China’s Mars rover.  According to the regime’s official Xinhua News Agency, Zhurong is not only the god of fire, but also of war and the South China Sea, over which the PRC risibly claims sovereignty over 85%.

The conclusion is crystalline to Mr. Chang: “In short, Ye was projecting, blaming others for what Beijing itself intends to do.  He was essentially saying that China would exclude others from these heavenly bodies.”

Mr. Chang is not alone in his assessment.  Mr. Brandon Weichert, the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower and a rising star in the constellation of sober policy analysts, concurs.  “Many are beginning to wonder if China will soon do to the moon and the rest of space that which it has done to the South and East China Seas, Taiwan, and northern India: claim them as sovereign.”

Wondering, too, is NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.  “We must be very concerned that China is landing on the moon and saying: ‘It's ours now and you stay out.’”  Mr. Chang confirms how “Nelson has every right to be concerned.  America may have to go to war with China if it even wants to land on the moon.  The Chinese have made it clear that, if they get there first, they will shoot down visitors.”

Of course, the CCP disagrees – or at least denies Mr. Chang’s assessment.  Per Zhao Lijian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, at his press briefing on…July 4th: “This is not the first time that the NASA administrator has lashed out at China in disregard of facts.  Some U.S. officials have spoken irresponsibly to misrepresent the normal and legitimate space endeavors of China.  China firmly rejects such remarks."

And, as is their wont, it didn’t take long until members of America’s PRC besotted foreign policy set leapt to the defense of…the Chi-coms.  Svetla Ben-Itzhak and R. Lincoln Hines, two assistant professors at the Air University of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force, cited Article II of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.  As a signatory, the pair contend, communist China renounced any attempt at “national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”  Thus, should the PRC claim it owned the moon, it would be in violation of international law and, indeed, the regime’s own word.  Hines and Ben-Itzhak assure one and all that “China would risk further tarnishing its international image by breaking international law, and it may invite retaliation.”

Yep.  And Germany would never rearm in violation of the Versailles Treaty.

As Mr. Chang reminds Hines and Ben-Itzhak and others with short memories, “the Chinese military tested an orbital hypersonic glide vehicle, essentially an announcement of an intention to violate the treaty's prohibition of orbiting nuclear weapons in space.”  As the characteristically terse Mr. Weichert adds, “China is a space criminal. It thinks nothing of willy-nilly violating its international obligations.”

The PRC’s motive is crystalline: world domination.  Mr. Chang cites Mr. Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, who told Mr. John Batchelor of the CBS Eye on the World: “The Chinese Communist Party requires control of the earth-moon system in order to achieve its ambitions for hegemony on earth…  I don’t think [the U.S. Government] understand(s) the mass that the Chinese are prepared to literally throw at the moon to gain the dominant presence.”  Mr. Fisher’s conclusion was chilling: “We are in a second moon race.  This time it's for keeps.  Whoever gets to the moon with the mostest gets to keep the moon, and the United States is lagging.”

Mr. Chang, who agrees “America's Artemis program, a joint effort with 20 other nations, is straggling far behind Chinese efforts to land on the moon,” buttresses the dire prognostication not with unfounded fears but with concrete facts. The PRC is “completing their Tiangong space station, a military project, just as the civilian International Space Station is nearing the end of its time in orbit.  Moreover, China is fast developing heavy lifters, which are needed to get to the moon and to maintain colonies there.”

Mr. Chang’s ineluctable conclusion?  “Unfortunately, President Joe Biden has no apparent interest in getting to the moon.  Only Elon Musk, with his Starship effort, is developing the means to compete with the Chinese.”

For genocidal communist China, the sky’s no limit to its imperial ambitions.  So, if it is Mr. Musk who helps the free world win the race, let’s hope he encounters fewer PRC rockets than he did bots on Twitter.  Because, ultimately, for the sake of humanity America and the free world must win the 21st Century’s race to the moon.  To paraphrase the late British poet Rupert Brooke, there will be no laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, in hearts at peace, under a PRC heaven.

A Human Events contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Radio Show," among sundry media appearances.

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