Deciphering China's ambitions in space

Hosted by the Department of International Relations and LSE IDEAS

PAN.G.01 Pankhurst House


Robert Kerby

Robert Kerby

International Intelligence and Security at Planet Labs

Juliana Suess

Juliana Suess

Research Analyst and Policy Lead on Space Security, Military Sciences team, RUSI

James Kynge

James Kynge

Global China Editor, Financial Times

Dimitrios Stroikos

Dimitrios Stroikos

LSE Fellow, Department of International Relations, Head of the Space Policy Programme, LSE IDEAS


Professor Chris Alden

Professor Chris Alden

Professor of Department of International Relations, LSE


Professor Chris Alden

Connor Horsfall

Director, Young China Watchers, Senior Consultant, Shearwater Global

Join our speakers as they assess China's space ambitions, the motivations driving Beijing’s space strategy, and how western governments should view these developments. They will also discuss how China’s vision differs from other nations, how they see the future of space diplomacy developing and whether collaboration between China and western nations within the space domain is possible or necessary.

From its space station currently in orbit to lunar missions and the development of across-the-board space capabilities, China has emerged as a significant space power, at a time when many countries and private actors are investing in space. Meanwhile, from the commercialisation and privatisation of space to the challenges of space debris and space weaponisation, the existing framework of space governance seems increasingly inadequate. This is compounded by a new era of strategic competition that extends in space, especially in the context of US-China relations. It is in this dynamic context of global space activities that China’s space ambitions will have significant consequences for the future of space. 

Join us afterwards for a networking session in the upstairs private bar (the 'Beavers Retreat') of the George IV Pub on campus.

Meet our speakers and chair:

Robert Kerby, International Intelligence and Security at Planet Labs. His background includes 20+ years of military and commercial experience in the Defence Intelligence and Space domains.

James Kynge, Global China Editor at the Financial Times. He writes about China's interactions - geopolitical, technological, economic and in other fields - with the outside world. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism and his 2009 book, China Shakes the World was a bestseller translated into 19 languages.

Juliana Suess, Research Analyst and Policy Lead on Space Security as part of the Military Sciences team at RUSI. She's also host of the 'war in space' podcast.

Dimitrios Stroikos, LSE Fellow in the Department of International Relations and Head of the Space Policy Programme at LSE IDEAS. He is also the editor-in-chief of Space Policy: An International Journal, hosted at LSE IDEAS. His research has appeared in multiple publications and he has also co-edited the open access volume Rising Power, Limited Influence The Politics of Chinese Investments in Europe and the Liberal International Order (Oxford University Press, 2024). His latest open access publication is Still Lost in Space? Understanding China and India’s Anti-Satellite Tests through an Eclectic Approach.

Connor Horsfall, Director of the Young China Watchers (YCW) and a Senior Consultant at Shearwater Global. Connor writes extensively on China-related issues and has featured in both the South China Morning Post and Nikkei Asia. His recent opinion pieces have covered Beijing’s space ambitions, AI development and Britain’s China policy.


Chris Alden is Professor of International Relations at LSE and Director of LSE IDEAS.

More about this event

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in its 96th year, and is one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. The Department is ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2023 tables for Politics and International Studies.

LSE IDEAS is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy. IDEAS hosts interdisciplinary research projects, produces working papers and reports, holds public and off-the-record events, and delivers cutting-edge executive training programmes for government, business and third-sector organisations.

Young China Watchers is a professionals’ network that fosters dialogue on the most pressing issues coming out of China today. The network has over 5,000 members across ten chapters within North America, Europe and Asia.

Tiangong Space Station render photo by Shujianyang licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licence.


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