Today's Chinese Aerospace News, and Its Bigger Meaning

As a reminder: my contention is that China's ambitions, progress, and frustrations in this field are proxies for its potential more generally. Thus I notice:

1) Ambitions, from Business Insider.


2) Scale: To the same effect, from AFP:

3) But wait, not so fast (from Reuters):


Similarly (same story, different paper):

4) And, even more fundamentally:

My Q&A with the WSJ giving The Big Picture -- and also a (to me) very interesting analysis at the Lone Operator site of the creativity, and self-limitations, of China's current aerospace ambitions as a guide to the country's potential overall.

And while I'm at it, a sadder-and-wiser tale at Bloomberg Business Week about an ambitious young American trying to seize some of the opportunities that seem so "easily" available in China. This fits into a grand tradition, stretching back to Mr. China, and To Change China, and Matteo Ricci, and beyond.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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