Chapter 7: Space and Defence Technologies
AMBITIONS IN SPACE Planners and think tanks in the US are obviously of the opinion that national security and the future economic health of the country both depend on maintaining a comparative advantage at the frontier of science and technology. The threat of Japan to the technological hegemony of the US some twenty years ago, has mainly vanished.1 Japan was not agile enough to adjust quickly to the twin challenges of rapid globalization and rapid scientiﬁc and technological (S&T) progress in almost all technological and scientiﬁc ﬁelds – and developments during recent years suggest that the country has become a limping technological superpower. The European Union, with 25 countries, has not been perceived as a threat to the US hegemony, although the EU at its General Assembly in Lisbon in 2000 declared that it would become the most innovative region in the world. It is only of late that China’s advances in technology and science have been perceived to provide a foundation for a changing world balance not only in trade but eventually also in the military arena. Space technology constitutes an integral and very important arena where the United States enjoys an obvious and dominant military advantage. A continued deployment without regard for China might compel the country to respond, resulting in a space competition with unavoidable military repercussions. There is already an early indication that such a development is gathering force. In August 2003 China launched its ﬁrst manned satellite. China also indicated that it was...
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