China’s Ambitions to Explore the Moon and the Prospects for Lunar Governance

Though China has arguably the world’s most dynamic lunar exploration programme, it is only one of several countries with ambitious plans to visit the Moon. Over the next decade, numerous international missions are expected to land at just a handful of small sites on the lunar surface, a clustering of activity that portends crowding and interference problems. These challenges in view, several countries are leading efforts to develop international governance institutions and mechanisms to manage activities at these lunar sites. China’s role in these efforts may prove pivotal. In this talk, an astrophysicist and a political scientist discuss China’s lunar exploration plans and how they intersect with the prospects for lunar governance.