A Poverty of Riches: New Challenges and Opportunities in PLA by James C. Mulvenon, Andrew Yang

By James C. Mulvenon, Andrew Yang

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34 - • • • The Long March-2E, which can put 9 metric tons into low Earth orbit, from which it is then possible to move the satellite into geostationary or geosynchronous. It is believed that a modified version of this system, the -2F, is the basis of Chinese manned space flights. The Long March-3 series gives the PRC the ability to launch objects directly into geosynchronous orbit. 8 metric tons to geostationary orbit. It is comparable to the Ariane or Delta-type launchers. 138 It should be noted that the PRC’s launchers are technologically as sophisticated as that of the West.

25 - 2. THE CHINESE SPACE PROGRAM: A 21ST CENTURY “FLEET IN BEING”? By Dean Cheng INTRODUCTION Since the end of the Gulf War, the PRC has devoted significant resources to considerations of the state of future warfare. In the wake of “Desert Fox” and the NATO intervention in Kosovo, those considerations have tended to focus more and more on the prospect of conflict with the United States. In this context, space operations become essential. On the one hand, the United States and Western forces utilize space-based assets to perform many key functions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, and missile early warning.

S. Hopes to be First,” Jiefangjun bao, 21 February 2001. ” Xinhua, 27 February 2001. - 29 - the PRC in general, currently fields the technologies required to undertake the space control mission. Instead, space control operations are discussed only in the most general of terms. 110 Other roles would include meteorological support and information relay. Such missions, by contrast, can be undertaken by the PLA today. Reconnaissance. Perhaps the most important mission of space-based platforms is reconnaissance.

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