International Institute of Space Law

Article

The Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) Provides Opportunity for China to Dominate Space Cooperation in Asia?

An Analysis from the Legal Perspective

Keywords Asian Space Cooperation, B&R Initiative, Competition to Regional Space Dominance, Chinese National Space Legislation, APSCO’s Legal Framework
Authors Mingyan Nie
Author's information

Mingyan Nie
Faculty of Law, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  • Abstract

      The co-existence of more than one regional space cooperation entity in Asia presents the competition on the cooperation of space affairs in this territory. Against this background, the Asian space powers take all possible measures to attract more space partners. The Belt&Road Initiative (B&R), which is defined as a comprehensive strategy for China to meet the challenges brought by the globalization, provides opportunities for the space field. However, legal improvements are demanded to be made on both domestic and regional levels for responding to the relevant legal challenges. On the domestic level, the Chinese space regulation which is intended to be formulated before the year of 2020 is recommended to encompass fundamental principles and provisions friendly to non-governmental entities and foreign partners. On the regional level, the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) is required to transform its role from Chinese platform to compete with its Asian rivals on space cooperation affairs to a co-builder and services provider of the B&R space programs (e.g., the SIC). Accordingly, legal coordination approached to ensure implementing the “co-sharing” principle is needed to be made between APSCO and the SIC sponsor; moreover, APSCO itself must do modifying jobs to improve its legal framework to adapt the requirements of its new role.

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