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<i>>They have serious economic problems. Inequalities are rising and producing social tensions, pollution is becoming economically unsupportable, inflation is rising and threatening to get out of control. Etc.</i><br /><br />In either '05 or '06, China had something like 70,000 protests. China is like ancient Rome and America herself, a nation of assimilators and adapters producing quality goods that others desire. China, like America, has been home to major scientists, vast technical knowledge and inventions throughout history. Exports used to be porcelain, medicine, silk and processed foods - now they export everything under the Sun. Their products are generally good, including things like $13,000 luxury SUVs. What we in the States call labor practices and product-safety could surely use improvement, and as consumers we can help push them for more responsible practices. <br /><br />One of their not-so-hidden problems is the male-female ratio. With so many males, especially young males, there is bound to be an amplification of any social strains. <br /><br />China can be described as the only truly successful Communist nation in the 21stC, and even that is "China, Inc". Witness the bow-and-scrape this week from Mattel, China is a major business force in the world, and Mattel was apologizing to all of China, not just their manufacturing partners.<br /><br />One sure thing is that if the ShenZhou/Long March architecture is to grow it would have to become available to other parties. Realistically, ITAR might limit American access to a theoretic commercial ShenZhou, but it could easily become the de-facto launch system competing with Soyuz. If their space program stays only as part of military activity, there will be only limited spaceflight on their part.<br /><br />Will China beat the US back to the Moon? It depends on if either country can hold their economies together. Is space development inevitable? <br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
As you know, we don't always agree on things, but that was truly an excellent post! <br /><br />I get almost as tired of those that bash other countries such as China here, as I get of those that bash NASA!<br /><br />Sometimes, bashing in general seems to be the preferred activity here on a site that should by its very nature have far more positives than negatives!