9 July 2024

China’s Growing Appetite for a Space Fight With U.S.

Gabriel Honrada

A new RAND report emphasizes China’s rising risk tolerance and growing strategic maneuvers in space, an aggressive push forged to challenge US dominance in the domain.

The RAND report examines open-source Chinese defense literature, providing a comprehensive overview of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) perspectives on space-based escalation over the past two decades.

It asserts that China’s leaders view the US as a dominant but declining power and anticipate aggressive future tactics, including the growing militarization of space.

The report says the PLA’s strategy encompasses both deterrence and coercion, a tactical mix that aims to force adversaries to bend to its political objectives or face a devastating space-based war.

The report outlines the PLA’s evolving views on space-based escalation. These views reflect a growing desire to assertively shape the fast-evolving strategic environment. Initially, the PLA’s strategic thinking was mainly theoretical, focusing on conflict prevention.

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