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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
How important is the China space mission?
Astronaut Yang Liwei

Astronaut Yang Liwei has succesfully returned to Earth after China became the third nation to put a man in space.

A rocket carrying the Shenzhou V spacecraft blasted off from the Gobi desert launch pad on Wednesday and the astronaut returned on Thursday morning, after orbiting the globe 14 times.

Chinese President Hu Jintao flew to the Jiuquan space base to witness the event, and said it was a "historic step of the Chinese people".

How important is the China space mission? What will the successful mission of Shenzhou V mean for the future of space exploration ? Send us your views.

The comments published reflect the balance of views received:

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Your reaction:

During a time when the "Space Race" is over and when the exploratory efforts of the US and Russia have stagnated, I find it extremely admirable that China has become the third nation into space. I hope to see mankind return to the Moon, and hopefully take the great step forward to Mars. The future of humanity lies in space and I salute the Peoples Republic of China for taking a step towards Man's rightful place in the galaxy.
William Gaskins, USA

It is a milestone for China
Robert, Taiwan
It is a milestone for China. After spending millions of dollars to put a man in the space, the leader of China should think how to put the country in the right track - Democracy, Prosperity and Liberty.
Robert, Taiwan

All very well to say it's money well spent! Is it? Have you seen the living and working conditions of the majority of the population in PRC? Shanghai and Beijing - the 'face' of China seen by the world, is not truly representative of the country.
B, Australia

The mission is extremely important to the citizens of China because it shows that they are members of an exclusive club. This assumes that the leaders of the country continue to move ever so slowly in the direction that they have steered the country. The current leadership has committed the country to change and will eventually have to have a country that is comprised of citizens that help control the direction of the government. This is inevitable. It will happen, the only issue is when.
Don Maharas, USA

For a country that has suffered prolonged inferiority complex since 1840, becoming the 3rd nation in the world to put a man into space may indeed give a little boost to national confidence. Yet I suspect after the initial joy and excitement recede, China still has to face the daunting task of providing adequate food and jobs for one fourth of the humanity.
Ling, China

Congrats China! Great Achievement. This marks the arrival of third super power of the world. Hope India will follow soon.
Sachin Vats, India

Being 40 years late doesn't make this less important
Yang, China

Being 40 years late doesn't make this less important. I'm proud of the determination and technological advancement of our country. Being a socialist country doesn't make this less important either.
Yang, China

Perhaps the China space mission will cheer up the US plans to reach other planets by sending manned spaceships out there. If not, at least this great China achievement can restart the travels to the moon, which in my view, was not explored properly.
Raimundo L. Santos, Brazil

Congrats to China! However, despite China being able to send someone into space, what does this bring to the millions of poor civilians? With the billions of dollars invested into this space mission, what about the people who need money/clothing the most?
Rakesh, India

This topic was suggested by Donald, UK
Will China surpass America as not only the space frontier leader but as an economic power house?

Mixed reaction! Congrats to China for the scientific achievement and disrupting the hegemony of US and Russia. But Chinese policy of expansionism is all that worries me, and its obvious, that this mission was also to prove something else too! I am envious to see a nation, which was almost like us 30 years back, far exceeding us now. Has communism won over democracy?
Nitesh Sukh, India

Congratulations to China. To the critics of space exploration, I would say learn how to multi-task, find out where the trillions of dollars spent against poverty in the past fifty years has vanished, and try to use something that you all seem to have lost. Imagination and curiosity. That is the hallmark of being human.
Bob Brashear, USA

Congratulations to the Shenzhou crew for the success of the space mission. But don't you think it would be better if we Earthlings tried to understand our own planet better before delving further into the unknown? As a frontier of research somewhat ignored by most countries, China can make a niche for itself instead of joining the increasingly crowded space race.
Ian, Singapore

Perhaps they have chosen better way of reforms than us.
Anna, Russia
Perhaps when the first man was put in space, joy and pride prevailed among our people. But later on people more and more showed some discontent because of so much money "wasted" on space while ordinary people's life was far from comfortable. Still I personally always was proud of Soviet space achievements. I prefer money to be "wasted" on space than in bottomless oligarchs' pockets that we have now. I am glad that one more socialist country is in space; I see it as a hope that socialism has a future. China is getting closer and closer to superpower status, while our country Russia is losing it. Perhaps they have chosen better way of reforms than us.
Anna, Russia

Great achievement by our country even though we are 40 years late, but better late then never! $$$ spent on space research are not complete wastes of money, as the technological spin offs have great commercial applications.
Tao, UK

Solving domestic problems before going to space, is like a cleaning up your toilet before investing in stock market, or sweeping the floor before going for a nightclub. Yes there are still millions of Chinese live in poverty, but the manned mission has bought joys and cheers to well over 100 millions Chinese all over the world. I challenge any western entertainment industry can ever achieve that. Long Live China and Money Well Spent.
Ray, UK

The China space mission is important to the Chinese rulers. The success boosts national pride and wins more support from the people. To all peoples, it enhances the check and balance of power among nations.

Am I happy about Yang in the space? Yes, I am. I clapped a little when I saw the historic moment on TV. Poverty, human rights status and corruption also came to my mind at the same moment. So I did not sing or dance. Nor did I sign on the congratulatory banner of the signature campaigner in the street.
Rosa Leung, Hong Kong, China

I hope they take some of my colleagues next time they go to space and see to it that they do not come back
Shyam, India

This is a great achievement in China. Kudos. We are hoping to see it happen one day in Africa.
Eugene J, Kenya

It will hopefully encourage other nations to think about sending their missions to space
Karim Khan, Pakistan
It is very courageous effort from Chinese side. It will really affect the world view regarding the monopoly of USA and Russia over space and it will hopefully encourage other nations to think about sending their missions to space since there it is no property of any specific nation.
Karim Khan, Pakistan

Ever heard about decoys? Send lots of fireworks into the sky so nobody sees what you are doing on the ground. Tibet just isn't high enough for the journalists any more.
Leszek Luchowski, Poland

Any manned space launch is a great step for all mankind, regardless of where it was launched from. The sooner we can work together to explore the rest of the universe, the sooner we will truly be the "human race" and stop being "national citizens" ....
Tim Smith, New Hampshire, USA

It is a great technological achievement of China. The Chinese government has tried to accomplish two things.First, it promotes Chinese made technological products, eg, satellites. Second, it attempts to rally the Chinese people and the Chinese in Taiwan, and Hong Kong, this was made obvious when the astronaut gave special greetings to Taiwan and Hong Kong during his trip.
Hsiang, Hong Kong

A mockery is what it is. A nation that can barely feed all of its own people can afford to waste extortionate amounts of money joining in a venture with no practical benefits whatsoever. Manned spaceflight has produced no advances in scientific knowledge, no appreciable boon to technology or industry. China has jumped on the bandwagon.
Damian Leach, UK

To those China knockers who said should not spend billion on space exploration while the country remains poor and backward. Wake up, make a trip to China and see yourself the advancement of the nation and its people.
Tom Yiu, Canada

For years now other countries have overlooked China as an upcoming force
Gene, USA
For years now other countries have overlooked China as an upcoming force. I applaud them for the strides they have made in the last 20 years in their zest to be identified as world leaders. China has quietly taken over a lot of industries in the world including the steel industry, clothing and electronic industry that was once enjoyed by only a few nations, that which included the USA. They are now venturing into space, which I believe will someday be a great help to all the people of the world. Though a lot of their people live in poverty they also have the biggest population of which they have to feed. I hope with all their advancements they will be able in the future to provide higher paying jobs and benefits for the adult population of their country and to start humanitarian aid to their poor as soon as possible. There doing what a lot of other countries are not, looking out for their own!
Gene, USA

I have friends in China who told me today how excited they are and how they watched the television coverage eagerly with their children. It reminded me of when I was younger and how excited I was watching the missions of John Glenn orbiting the earth, Neil Armstrong stepping on the Moon, etc. I am so happy for China and my friends there. Perhaps this effort will reignite global interest in Space Exploration and will lead to new discoveries and advances in technology for the benefit of all of us.
John, USA

A proud day for all Asians!
Mahendra, USA

I think most the contributors to this topic have lost all common sense. China is mired in poverty, yet is willing to spend billions on a space program. This is completely irresponsible. But Chinese people can't do anything about that because they are not allowed to vote for leaders of their choosing who might look for their best interests. Where is the outcry? Does fleeting national pride take precedence over the health and welfare of the citizenry?
Pat, USA

Ha, real funny to read the post of Pat, USA. So, maybe nobody is "mired in poverty" in the US? Everything rosy there, no ghettoes, no homeless? And you get to vote for what your leaders do, right? You even elected W., didn't you?
Pat, Bulgaria

To all the Brits and Yankees who claim that this Chinese project is a waste of money: why don't you complain about the trillions your governments are spending in warfare? China's pacific accomplishment is a genuine source of pride for its people, and I hope they will persevere in this path.
Gonzalo Vasquez Villanueva, Santiago, Chile

China's success into the space venture is very critical to the human race
Louis Tan, British Columbia, Canada
China's success into the space venture is very critical to the human race. With the jingoistic menace of the American military, another super nation must emerge to check and balance the US, similar to the mutual destruction concept of the missile era.
Louis Tan, British Columbia, Canada

I this is a wonderful moment for the people of China. Congratulations on a successful mission.
Christina Corbett, Philadelphia, USA

Our country is moving forward
Lin, China

I hope this refuels some competitive spirit into space exploration. I'm sick of listen to all the Luddites complain about "wasting money" on science.
Matt , US

Of course this is a great achievement, but while the Chinese rocket is in space, the Chinese government has 9,000 bears kept in small metal cages where twice daily their bile is drained from continually open wounds. Though there are herbal alternatives, the barbaric, horrible practice of bear bile farming continues as part of 'traditional' healing.
Virginia , USA

No matter how critical the western press is about this space mission, it has made China a great nation! You can't take that away from them.
Oovie Imoni, Nigeria

Congratulation for China and i am very sure that this step would tend to balance the technological and specially astronic techincs in our world today...Congratulations china.
Ahmed Lashinw, Egypt

The sick and hungry? What about them? What about the repressed? And let's not forget those are afraid to speak their minds for fear of imprisonment. But, Hey! A great day they've put a man into space! Huh!
Mark Shanahan, UK

Every country had better reach to technology because the USA has made clear that they will kill your population and kidnap your people, hold them and torture them for years and there is nothing you can do about it. Because they are the strongest technologically this is the underpinning of their Military superiority.
Urs, Germany

The UK builds useless Dome. The Chinese go into orbit round the globe. Well done.
TJ Khamas, Ireland

Congratulations for China! Their people should be proud of this achievement.
Luis Hernando Leguizamon, Colombia

I believe China's new space technologies will be used for military purposes, and I see nothing wrong with it. China as a nation has the right to defend itself in this uncertain world. It is naive to pursue "world peace" at the expense of national interests. Countries that do this will perish. I hope my peace-loving compatriots understand this point.
Chen, UK

I wish China gives up its communist dictatorship and gives freedom of speech and respects human rights. If that happens I'm sure everyone will support China as a superpower because the USA is an Israeli biased corrupt government who we want to see collapse.
Abu Issa, Baghdad, Iraq

The chief moral imperative for the Chinese regime right now is human rights and democratisation
Bradius V. Maurus III, USA/Poland
As a Sinologist who lived in Taiwan for 14 years, I am deeply pleased with the Chinese achievement, and as a long-time proponent of space colonisation, I hope that this will stimulate more interest in space around the world. On the other hand, the chief moral imperative for the Chinese regime right now is human rights and democratisation. No other achievement can take the place of that. It is the sine qua non of national respectability, and China must grapple with it.
Bradius V. Maurus III, USA/Poland

Yay for China. You created a rocket and put a man in space, (using Russian technology I might add) a great crowd pleasing event. It's been done before. This is all a load of patriotic pap, designed to encourage the peoples voice into more military spending- just what the world needs right now.
James Shallish, New Zealand

Lots of people said China should have spent the money on education, eliminating poverty etc. But besides these, China has got to develop its own advanced technology, which is important as well. For a huge country with 1.3 billion population, it's long term work to get every one rich. Before this is achieved, you cannot let the rest stand undeveloped. By the way, China is not a typical "old image" communist country now. Lots of things changed.

Fantastic achievement for China, but lets hope that this may be the start of a new "Space Race", which allows humanity to push the boundaries of space exploration even further. Let's face it, NASA needs the competition. Stand proud China, the world salutes you!
Chris Rolland, UK

Wasted resources. A government's first priority is the needs of its people not international prestige: the millions of Chinese peasants deserve a better deal, especially considering their taxes pay for it!
Phil, UK

Yes, we are a bit late, 40 years, but we did it
Pu, China/UK
A British colleague approached me this morning and shook my hands with his sincere congratulations. This made me fell really good and proud to be a Chinese. Yes, we are a bit late, 40 years, but we did it. Looking back history, it is never late to do something which can hail people's pride and push forward the technologies. Another thing, I strongly doubt that US is willing to share its 'well developed' space technologies with others, especially China, a competitive co-operator.
Pu, China/UK

It is not more than just a symbol. But, attention, this symbol demonstrates that China, my mother country, is able to be the top force in the coming future. Wow! Look further, the 2008 Olympic Games will be held in Beijing. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to believe that China will be a very strong country. This is just the first step.
James Zhang, The Netherlands

I think this is a great step. Now there are two nations that are capable of sending people into space, Russia and China.
Larry Matthews, USA

Time for criticism later. Let Taikonaut Yang Liwei have his glory times. Congratulations to him and his proud nation.
Lesley, UK/USA

Just think, the UK could have been at this stage had they continued their space programme, but like everything else the government decided to discontinue it. As to comments that it's all a waste of money, do you really think it would be wisely spent on other projects? If all we ever did was just contemplate our navel's on everything, we'd still be in the dark ages! Like any investment, it has its risks and rewards, and you can't get a return without putting in money.
CP, USA (Expat UK)

Any effort, by any nation, to further our knowledge of space travel should be welcome
Aristides Garcia, The Netherlands
Human instinct is the driving force behind all scientific exploits; those exploits don't really belong to any nation in particular. In the case of space exploration it is even more clearly so; we know that our planetary system will not last forever. The ultimate salvation of the human race is the colonization of space. Any effort, by any nation, to further our knowledge of space travel should be welcome; go little man! You started in the plains of Africa, spread all over this planet; with clear vision you have no limits!
Aristides Garcia, The Netherlands

Being a Chinese student in UK, I can tell you why China needs a manned space project when it is still a poor country: space missions really contributed and are contributing to solving issues of agriculture and natural disasters, which are the most critical problems in China.
Haicheng Wang, UK

Congratulations to China and her people. You have every right to be proud.
Scott Wallace, UK/Japan

Indeed it is a great achievement of the Chinese Nation, I am proud of that. Though there are a lot more to do and a long way to go, I believe we will continue to work hard to develop the nation and open our arms to the world.
Bai Zhiguang, China

Great accomplishment for China. Congratulations to the Chinese for their hard working and for meeting the necessities of the time.
Mohammad Hanif, Pakistan

I've got mixed emotions about the space launch. While I'm thrilled that their programme has been successful, I do worry about the money that would be better spent on revitalising their country. Too many people are still in need. The same can be said of any other country that spends money on flights of fancy while ignoring social problems on earth. Space is not for us to colonize right now. We are better off using the zero gravity conditions for scientific research that will benefit all people. So I hope that as the Chinese space programme continues, they will take advantage of the real scientific opportunity.
Kate, United States

I watched the news on the early hours of 15th October and I was leaping with joy at the launch of China's first manned space flight, I had been following the event of China's space program for the last 10 years and dreamed of seeing this day. While I was travelling to work I recalled how gallant and proud the Taikonaut, Lt Col. Yang Liwei, in his space suite as he wore the heart and courage of his nation, I immediately broke down in tears. The Chinese people had first dreamt of space travel centuries before any civilisation and to finally be able to send one of its own was a very moving moments.
W Chan, UK

Well done! Yes, it is a lot of money (but compare it with other "non essential" industries such as entertainment, cosmetics etc.), but one could argue forever on how you assess the value of any action - if this increases national prestige, and pushes kids into science and technology, so much the better! Yes, there's a political agenda, but where isn't there?
Mark Bentley, UK

Again China made the history! I am proud of my motherland!
Tong Shanbao, China

China is a sleeping giant - I strongly believe this is just the first of many great leaps we'll be seeing from them in the decades to come.
Jason Miles, Reading, UK

This is a truly success story even if has not been finished yet
Milos Milisavljevic, Canada
This is a truly success story even if has not been finished yet. China demonstrates one thing that many other countries do not: a constant economic, political and technological progress during the past 30 years. It is very important that China keeps political balance in the world, as USA mongers tend flood the whole world with kitsch and phoney values. Chinese culture is rich with original stuff. The world needs to focus to other values and cultures.
Milos Milisavljevic, Canada

I am very happy for my nation. And I would like to mention to those people who say that China should work together with Russia and USA on this space program. In theory, there is possibility. In practice, it is a very naive idea. I don't believe US would transfer such kind of technology to a communist country. There is no free lunch in this world.
Zhang, China

I suspect we are going to see a breath-taking leap by the Chinese.... either a manned Moon landing, or perhaps even a (one-way) manned expedition to Mars.
Gershom Gale, Israel

The Shenzhou V mission is an extraordinarily important first step for an awakening giant of a nation. If manned space exploration were strictly a product of economics and science, Europe would have been there long ago. What China has joined the US and Russia in demonstrating is the will to step boldly into mankind's unknowable future, and I for one welcome their company.
Brian Berg, USA

I'm really proud of being Chinese. Let those who are jealous and scared of any achievement China made groan. Look at human history, China has always been the superpower, and now, with a big step forward, we can hear the sound: WE ARE BACK!
Jiamingpai, China

I think this experiment from China is pretty stupid. Why can't they work together with Russia and USA? These two countries have been working together for several years, and they have build a space station together. Why couldn't China participate in this project instead of doing everything themselves? I think the space industry have to work together for the best of mankind and to share experiences from each other, when it comes to exploring space.
Ole Aksel Svendsgård, Norway

Congratulations! This is a great news! China has showed the world that there are other greater achievements to be made than just joining the arms race!
Ratna Sengupta, Indian in USA

My heartfelt congratulations go out to the Chinese people, especially the technicians and scientists who made this possible. It is my sincere hope that China's entry into manned spaceflight will revitalize the interest of all major nations to conquer the solar system and to get us off of this ancient rock.
Nils, Germany

I think it's great China are making progress like this
Yao, UK
I think it's great China are making progress like this. Being Chinese I have strong reservations about the government and its ambitions. Having said that, I do believe this to be a positive achievement. I think it's a shame that to see some negative comments from some over-nationalistic Chinese, as well as egotistical comments from a couple of Americans. This kind of backward thinking can get us nowhere.
Yao, UK

Why do people in the West look upon any development in the East as a threat. That won't disrupt our space programme, come what may!
Minhua, China

As a Chinese, I'm so proud of this. The launch of ShenZhou V, not matter whether it will be a success of failure, marks China's improvement in space technology. I'm also very pleased to have seen so many comments on my country's development here which are friendly and based on the truth without the so-called "ideological hostility" attached.
Z. Chen, P. R. China

As a Chinese I am proud of our nation's achievements and resolve. And I also see this as an effort to counter the attempt by the superpowers to dominate outer space.
Baizhu, China

As a Chinese, I am very proud of my country. The launch shows that our country has the power to compete in the military field of the world. But we are a peace-loving country. No matter how strong we are now and will be, we will always strive for world peace.
Bonnie, China

Thanks for all the congratulations. I sincerely hope it is possible for the superpowers to work cooperatively and productively together for humanity.
Yan, China

An expensive way to distract the people from the inadequacies of government. A step forward? For whom? The only advance I can see is that the guy in the cockpit is Chinese. With massive poverty, starvation and high infant mortality, coming 3rd in the space race 40 years late is the last thing China needs. Not a reason to celebrate.
Chris, Japan

Now we are closer to space, and closer to people all over the world. The success belongs to all humans.
Chooli, China

As a Chinese, I am really proud of what's been achieved. However, it's my hope that money can be spent wisely in something else such as helping to eliminate poverty in many remote regions in China
Shen Gao, China

Absolutely fantastic!
John, USA
Another country enters space... Absolutely fantastic! The more the merrier! Come on guys...stop the grumbling. You go China, you go Lt Yang Liwei.
John, USA

I think it's pathetic that they can only now do what the US and Russia did 40 years ago. What a joke.
Michael, Texas

I'm very excited that China has finally joined the space club. I hope my country will join Europe, Russia and America to explore the final frontier.
Wang Yin, Shanghai, China

It's an exciting moment! I'm proud of my motherland!
Zheng Haitao, China

I don't think the US is happy about this success.
Guus, USA

People in China are as proud as can be, one would seriously believe that the country is achieving something that has never been done before. I admit I love to point out that China is 40 years late and they are doing it in a Soviet capsule knock-off. But my heart does go out to the guy going up - I truly hope he gets the ride of his life!
Helen, Hong Kong

If successful, it proves they are a half century behind the US (and probably also a half century ahead of Europe).
Michael, USA

I hope that within the next few years they'll land on the moon
Marshall A. Woods, USA
Good for the Chinese! I hope that within the next few years they'll land on the moon, plant their flag there, and claim it for their own. We sorely need something to re-focus us on the importance of space, and it does seem that effective national space programmes require competition and a 'race', rather than cooperation. With any luck the Chinese will reignite that acquisitive, competitive attitude that the US and USSR took towards space in the 1960s.
Marshall A. Woods, USA

I would like to extend congratulations to China for sucessfully putting a man in space.
Cathleen Kipp, USA

China, just like the USSR and USA did, is pursuing a space programme for two reasons. The economic benefit of launching their own satellites (mainly military reconnaissance) and developing manoeuverable nuclear warheads to avoid interception. "Manned space exploration" is good PR. It sounds a lot better to the masses then "Strategic First Strike Programme".
Jared, USA

This heralds China's elevation to superpower status. It'll be interesting to see how the United States responds.
Peter Bolton, US

Delaying the TV broadcast only shows the communists are still scared of their people, scared of failing, scared of what will happen to them when their people have enough of being told what to do.
John, Australia

God Speed to Shenzhou V and Yang Liwei. China has re-arranged the world order today, one of the most important events in recent history.
Simon Proud, UK

Congratulations to China on a great accomplishment. For now our planet is fragmented, but I see the day when the space programme will be shared among Europe, Russia, China and perhaps even the Americans if they can climb down from their particularistic ideology. After all this is a small planet and it belongs to us all - six billion or so.
Thomas Benian, Canada

The success of China makes some envious, whatever may be the case, they have a competitor in their business. So stop critisizing and try to beat it. More nations are ready to follow China.
Zulfi, India

It is a waste of money! We should have a multinational space agency where the money can be pooled together and cost each nation less to put there people and equipment into space.
Chuck, USA

A successful manned space programme by China will not only be good in and of itself, but it might force a serious rethinking of space policy by the United States. It might also motivate other nations to focus more attention on manned spaceflight. For more than thirty years, no country has sent anyone outside of low Earth orbit. The obvious goal is staring us in the face - Mars!
Jeffrey, Austin, TX USA

Putting a man on the moon! I ask you! Did they ask American permission? They risk invasion for having weapons of mass destruction, after Iran, Syria, North Korea....etc It could even provoke another war of words. Whilst it is another milestone in space exploration it makes me slightly queasy that China is now another superpower.
Tony, Welling Kent

The symbol is clear: China, and the Chinese form of Communism is just as important in the future of humanity as democracy. Let us hope that the world is united rather than divided by this fact.
Steve, Maidstone in Kent, UK

I'm really glad the Chinese are going into space; it's a nice reminder to Europe of just how ineffective we are, despite our lofty opinion of ourselves. And anything that annoys America can't be bad...
Chris, UK

China will be the dominant force in the world in coming future
Gil Bolton, UK
I remember the words that China is a sleeping giant, and it is. China will be the dominant force in the world in coming future. Industrialists are flocking there because of the cheap and plentiful supply of labour. China will carry on with their space program, even if this fails, which I don't believe it will.
Gil Bolton, UK

I hope the Chinese launch succeeds. If they do then I hope the three big space nations, US, Russia and China can all work together to help mankind achieve great things!
Richard, UK

It could be very important, over the last 30 years since man first set foot on the moon our capacity for space travel has actually diminished to the point where we have no current vehicle capable of the journey. Mankind has an innate instinct to explore and expand our horizons, there is a whole solar system out there to explore!
Peter D, UK

It's astonishingly symbolic of their view of themselves, and of their growing ambitions.
Steve, UK

If China is to become a major player then it is absolutely essential that they develop a sound space program. I completely agree with Richard and Patrick V. Staton that if the big four worked together it would probably benefit everyone, but I don't think the Americans would allow it because it would threaten their interests. If only the US and the Soviet Union worked together during the Cold War instead of building up an arsenal of nuclear weapons, by now we could have had a base on the moon or even a man on Mars!!
Charles S, UK

We're talking here about exploration and research that, for once, might actually serve the interests of humanity
Patrick V. Staton, Guildford, UK
USA, Europe, Russia and China could pool their finances and technological expertise to develop a global space program far greater than the sum of its individual components. We're talking here about exploration and research that, for once, might actually serve the interests of humanity and not be merely a public relations exercise to line the pockets and the prides of duplicitous governments.
Patrick V. Staton, Guildford, UK

Very important, This is just showing to the world the emergence of a new super power.
Ahmed, Canada

The Chinese leadership is obsessed with propaganda. The reality of China is a country where wealth aggregates towards a few highly polluted urban centres and hundreds of thousands of country people die of starvation each year there is a less than average harvest. China needs a man in space like it needs a collective hole in its collective head. Have the courage to manage, devolve political and economic power to regions. That is the only way China can earn international respect; not by stupid grandiose gestures.
Tom, UK

I guess we all know how important the China space mission is to China and to the world actually. It is not a mater of right or wrong to delay footage of the launch. It is just a decision made in their best interest.
Jane, Boston, US

I do support any country in its effort to conquer space. Hopefully they will come to the conclusion that working with the rest of the world instead of going it alone would be more effective.
Mike Daly, USA

It will be a tremendous boost to national confidence and self-esteem
Chris, US
The Chinese space mission is of the utmost importance to the Chinese, as it will be a tremendous boost to national confidence and self-esteem. One is tempted to say that the world doesn't need another space program, especially where the money could be better spent on Chinese education and infrastructure. However, NASA seems to have stagnated and more nations in the space business may foster the competitive spirit that will eventually drive mankind to mount bigger and more ambitious missions. Good luck to the Chinese and Godspeed.
Chris, US

I believe a country like China should have its sights on the stars, but I also believe the launch should be shown on live television to its citizens. A moment such as this, whether triumphant or tragic, should be shared be all of the people who stand behind its brave pioneers who are forging into the unknown.
Lance Rosol, USA

It's not important at all, billions of pounds are wasted every year on space travel, which could be used to build hospitals, schools etc etc etc, what will it prove, absolutely nothing, and what good will it do, about the same.
Lester Stenner, UK

Politically it lets them cross a barrier and join other the other world super-powers. Scientifically, not very important in terms of pioneering anything, but they could contribute alternative technologies and accelerate humanity's progress in space exploration.
Alex, Gibraltar

I think that the Chinese space conquest show how this country is being developed. Even if Communism is still leading the country, we are able to notice that China is becoming a powerful nation. China will be a great nation as Europeans are. The delay is due to the Communist secret which is still a value there. By this way, they don't want to break the moral of the population.
John, France

China hails space hero
16 Oct 03  |  Asia-Pacific
China space launch counts down
14 Oct 03  |  Asia-Pacific


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