Daily Archives: September 12, 2021

China’s Starship

While major technical hurdles stand in the way, an extra-large spacecraft could have broad applications.

In an effort to galvanize NASA’s return to the forefront, then-US Vice President Mike Pence sought to re-create the 1960s Cold War space race, when the United States beat the Soviet Union to the lunar surface, The Washington Post reported.

But this time the role of rival was played not by the Soviet Union, but by China, which Pence warned was trying “to seize the lunar strategic high ground.”

Bill Nelson, President Biden’s new NASA administrator, has carried on that hawkish rhetoric, casting China as “a very aggressive competitor” that has big ambitions in space and is challenging America’s leadership.

Read more at “China wants to build a kilometer-sized starship”

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Common Prosperity

China could soon reduce the gap between the rich and poor by imposing new taxes on property and inheritance, capping state-owned-enterprise (SOE) executives’ salaries, strengthening antitrust enforcement and promoting more charity.

All these suggestions were made by economists and commentators soon after President Xi Jinping spoke at a top Communist Party financial and economic affairs committee meeting where the leader said China should aim to promote “common prosperity.”

Xi, who is also party general secretary, also told the committee that the country should pursue high-quality development and coordinate work on forestalling major financial risks. The announcement is the latest in a series of regulations and moves that are raising new questions about China’s capitalist credentials.

Read more at “Wealth gap sparks Xi’s call for common prosperity”

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