SWF and Caelus Foundation Release Paper: "Lost Without Translation: Identifying Gaps in U.S. Perceptions of the Chinese Commercial Space Sector"

Thursday, February 18, 2021

On February 18, 2021, SWF and Caelus Foundation released  "Lost Without Translation: Identifying Gaps in U.S. Perceptions of the Chinese Commercial Space Sector." 

A summary video for this paper can be viewed here

U.S. commercial space actors firmly believe that competition from  China will be an inevitable part of their future decision-making. However, beyond this surety, there are significant gaps in understanding of how this competitive relationship will develop. For US stakeholders, it remains unclear who their Chinese competition will be, what resources they will have, and what rules they will operate under. By comparing common U.S. stakeholder perspectives with discourse and analysis on China’s commercial space sector, this paper highlights where more effort is required to better understand these emerging dynamics. This research challenges common narratives of a Chinese commercial space sector with unlimited financial support, direct government control, and long-term vision. It illuminates barriers to understanding the complexities and conflicts within China's commercial ecosystem, thus providing nuance for one of the most challenging and heated topics in the space industry: U.S.-Sino space relations. This paper raises more questions than it answers, but these questions will help U.S. researchers, analysts, practitioners, and policymakers better investigate and understand the complex dynamics emerging in China’s nascent commercial space sector. 

To download the report please click here.

SWF and Caelus Foundation would like to thank the industry professionals who contributed their time in being interviewed for this analysis; as well as those who served as reviewers for this paper. This work was funded by internal resources of Secure World Foundation and Caelus Foundation, and was not directly supported by any source of external or grant funding.

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Last updated on February 21, 2021