Strategic Competition for Space Partnerships and Markets

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history


China and Russia’s global space footprint in the economic and financial (E&F) domain is not well understood today. This chapter, through analyses of space-related transactions of China and Russia globally, describes the pro-active approach to international space partnerships by these two state actors. It concludes that these partnerships are often skewed, exposing recipient countries to vulnerabilities and dependencies on the benefactor(s). The more subtle strategy deployed in the developed, democratic countries to gain influence is conducted on an incremental basis (e.g., through commercial contracts, academic exchanges, scientific research). The other approach, described as “space sector capture,” mostly involves developing countries and consists of offering package deals of capabilities, services, and financing, creating sore-source supplier relationship and long-term dependencies. The chapter argues that the pace and nature of these international space partnerships concluded by China and Russia present a strategic and competitive challenge for Europe, the USA, and other allies, including the development of global space governance, as well as market based on transparency, good governance, and disclosure.


  1. Barbosa R (2018) Long March 2D launches SaudiSAT-5A/B NASA space flight. NASA Spaceflight. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  2. Belta (2018a) China aerospace science and technology corporation to open research center in Belarus. Belarus Telegraph Agency. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  3. Belta (2018b) Plans to build R&D commercialization center in China-Belarus industrial park within one year. Belarus Telegraph Agency. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  4. Campbell K (2017) BRICS bloc agree remote sensing space constellation project. Engineering News. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  5. CAS (2018) China, Finland to enhance Arctic research cooperation. Chinese Academy of Sciences. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  6. Clark S (2019) Chinese company inks deal to launch 90 commercial smallsats. Spaceflightnow. Accessed 3 Mar 2020
  7. Cozzens T (2019) India to host GLONASS ground station for Russia. GPS World. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  8. Eiterjord T (2019) China’s busy year in the Arctic. The Diplomat. Accessed 8 Mar 2020
  9. Ellis E (2017) China’s relationship with Chile: the struggle for the future regime of the Pacific. Jamestown Foundation. Accessed 8 Mar 2020
  10. ESA (2019) CBERS – 1st generation. eoPortal Directory. Accessed 5 Mar 2020
  11. European Commission (2018) Daily news press release 27/08/2018. European Commission.. Accessed 7 Mar 2020
  12. Foust J, Bodner M (2016) How Crimea fractured Ukraine’s space program. SpaceNews. Accessed 7 Mar 2020
  13. Giri C (2018) Version 2: mapping China’s global telecom empire. Gateway House. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  14. Glavkosmos (2019) Services/earth observation data and solutions. Glavkosmos JFC. Accessed 7 Mar 2020
  15. Gorchinskaya K (2020) Ukraine prepares to snub China in aerospace Deal with U.S. help. Forbes. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  16. Hill J (2011) China wins first European satellite construction, Launch Contract. Via Satellite. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  17. Hinshaw D, Page J (2019) How the pentagon countered China’s designs on Greenland. Wall Street J. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  18. Ibeh J (2019) Russia to deploy space monitoring stations in South Africa, Mexico and Chile. Space in Africa. Accessed 5 Mar 2020
  19. IDA (2018) Global trends in space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM). Institute for Defense Analyses, p 50. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  20. Interfax-Ukraine (2017) Ukraine, China approve updated bilateral program of space cooperation until 2020. KyivPost, Interfax-Ukraine News.Agency. Accessed 7 Mar 2020
  21. Kelley M (2014) Russia is reportedly reopening its Spy Base in Cuba. Business Insider.. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  22. Krebs G (2017) NIGCOMSAT 1 and 1R. Gunter’s space page. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  23. Lee RV (2018) Satellite images: a (Worrying) Cuban mystery. The Diplomat. Accessed 2 Mar 2020
  24. Liu N (2018) What does China’s fifth Research Station mean for Antarctic governance?. The Diplomat. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  25. Londoño E (2018) From a Space Station in Argentina, China Expands its Reach in Latin America. New York Times. Accessed 5 Mar 2020
  26. MFA Finland (2019) Joint action plan between China and Finland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  27. MFA PRC (2018) China strengthens international space cooperation. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  28. Nowakowski T (2016) Arianespace to launch Soyuz rocket with European satellites. SpaceFlight Insider. Accessed 7 Mar 2020
  29. Pai Ajit (2019) Protecting National Security and public safety. Federal Communications Commission. Accessed 16 Mar 2020
  30. Rail Working Group (2016) Kaunas free economic zone joins the rail working group rail working group. Rail Working Group. Accessed 9 Apr 2019
  31. Reuters (2018) BRICS development bank to expand lending to private sector. Reuters, Business News. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  32. Robinson J (2018a) Competition for international space partnerships. Prague Security Studies Institute, Prague, p 6. Accessed 26 Nov 2018
  33. Robinson J (2018b) Cross-domain responses to space hybrid provocations via economic and financial statecraft. In: USSTRATCOM 2018 deterrence and assurance academic Alliance conference, March 2018. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  34. Robinson J (2018c) Europe’s preparedness to respond to space hybrid operations. Prague Security Studies Institute, Prague, p 4. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  35. Robinson J, Robinson R, Davenport A, Kupkova T, Martinek P, Emmerling S, Marzorati A (2019) State actor strategies in attracting space sector partnerships: Chinese and Russian economic and financial footprints. Prague Security Studies Institute, Prague. Accessed 4 Mar 2020
  36. Roscosmos (2016) The main provisions of the Federal Space Program 2016–2025. State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS, Moscow. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  37. Roscosmos (2020) Intergovernmental agreements and commissions for economic, scientific and technical cooperation. Roscosmos. Accessed 7 Mar 2020
  38. SCIO PRC (2016) White paper on China’s Space Activities in 2016. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China.; Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  39. Selding P (2015) Brazilian government bypassing the US as it builds out a space sector. SpaceNews. Accessed 8 Mar 2020
  40. Shamrat AS (2018) Bangladesh joins the space age. YaleGlobal, Yale University. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
  41. SpaceWatchGlobal (2018) Uzbekistan widens partnerships for emerging space programme. SpaceWatch.Global. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  42. Sputnik (2018) Russia Grants Kazakhstan access to military satellite signal – space agency. Sputnik News. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  43. TASS (2018) Russia’s Roscosmos invites India to cooperate in manned space missions, satellite program. TASS Russian News Agency. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  44. Taylor E (2016) China’s Midea receives U.S. green light for Kuka takeover. Reuters. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  45. Wang B (2018) Ukraine helping South Korea, China and Canada With Rockets or Jets or Both. Nextbigfuture. Accessed 9 Mar 2020
  46. Williamson J (2017) Huawei and KUKA forge new smart manufacturing deal. The Manufacturer. Accessed 3 Mar 2020
  47. Xinhua (2018) German government gives Chinese AT&M’s takeover of Cotesa green light: report. Xinhua Net. Accessed 9 Mar 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Security ProgramThe Prague Security Studies InstitutePragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.The Prague Security Studies InstitutePragueCzech Republic

Section editors and affiliations

  • Peter L. Hays
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Policy InstituteGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations