Chinese rover Zhurong and the lander of the Tianwen-1 mission, captured on the surface of Mars by a camera detached from the rover, are seen in this image released by China National Space Administration (CNSA) June 11, 2021. CNSA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The cute, even chummy, selfie taken by China’s Zhurong Mars rover with its lander sends yet another, more menacing reminder to President Joe Biden that the country continues to position itself as the United States’ biggest world competitor. 

The selfie, released by the China National Space Administration, gives China the honor of calling itself the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars. It also gives China another way to compete with the U.S. Indeed, even before Friday’s news of the Mars landing, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson warned lawmakers of China’s threat to U.S. space supremacy, both to ask for more funding and to talk about China’s possible plans to land men on the moon within the decade. 

“That should tell us something about our need to get off our duff and get our human landing system going vigorously,” he said.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued instructions to “laser focus” the military on China as the United States’ one adversary. Austin’s directive was based on a task force report ordered by President Joe Biden in February for a new strategy to counter China on the global stage. 

The G7 world leaders also spent a good chunk of their time at this week’s summit discussing China and Biden’s pitch to convince allies to take a tougher stance against the country. 

Just to show how seriously the U.S. takes China, both Republicans and Democrats came together in the U.S. Senate earlier this week to pass a $250 billion plan to boost manufacturing and technology, with money going to research and development as well as universities. The House will now take up the bill. 

“Whoever wins the race to the technologies of the future is going to be the global economic leader,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Does the World Need to Contain China? – Fair Observer – 6/11/2021
The necessity to contain China is a contested idea both on economic and ethical levels.

Biden Goes Off-Script on China – Foreign Policy – 4/29/2021
Biden veered from his prepared remarks to deliver a stern warning to lawmakers: China thinks the United States is moving too slowly. “I spent a lot of time with President Xi—traveled over 17,000 miles with him, spent over 24 hours in private discussions with him,” Biden said. “He’s deadly earnest on becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world. He and others, autocrats, think that democracy can’t compete in the 21st century with autocracies, because it takes too long to get consensus.”

Biden: U.S. Wants ‘Competition, Not Conflict’ With China – Time – 4/29/2021
It was a speech heavy on domestic policy, detailing ambitious plans to revamp American infrastructure, education, jobs and healthcare. But at the heart of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress late Wednesday lay a theme common with his mercurial predecessor: competition with China to “win the 21st century.”

Space: The new frontier for US-China rivalry – Aljazerra – 5/13/2021
From box office hit Wandering Earth, a space-themed Chinese sci-fi film, to live streams of rocket launches, people in China are increasingly fascinated with outer space. Behind the growing interest lies the Chinese government’s own ambition.

President’s message to China and Russia: America is back, Trump is gone, the free ride is over – USA TODAY – 4/29/2021
Joe Biden’s speech to Congress was the first time in four years that people who focus on foreign policy and national security have had to pay attention to a presidential address. 

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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