From The International Herald Tribune:
For years, China has chafed at efforts by the United States to exclude it from full membership in the world’s elite space club. So, lately, China seems to have hit on a solution: create a new club.
Beijing is trying to position itself as a space benefactor to the developing world – the same countries, in some cases, whose natural resources China covets here on Earth. The latest, and most prominent, example came last week when China launched a communications satellite for Nigeria in a project that serves as a tidy case study of how space has become another arena where China is trying to exert its soft power. [Full Text]