Journal Articles | 19 November 2009

The stellar status symbol

In the latest issue of China Security, Research Associate Fiona Cunningham argues that Chinese behaviour needs to be viewed in light of its ambition to become a great power. ‘The Stellar Status Symbol: True Motives for China’s Manned Space Program’ examines China’s first manned space mission in 2003 as a leap forward in China’s journey toward great power status, copying the activities of the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War in order to improve its current international standing. The paper suggests that certain state capabilities are great power ‘status symbols’ and similar status motivations may be behind big-ticket military capabilities that are usually read as signs of Chinese threatening intent. The article is at: http://www.chinasecurity.us/pdfs/FionaCunningham.pdf

Fiona Cunningham

  • Fiona Cunningham

In the latest issue of China Security, Research Associate Fiona Cunningham argues that Chinese behaviour needs to be viewed in light of its ambition to become a great power. ‘The Stellar Status Symbol: True Motives for China’s Manned Space Program’ examines China’s first manned space mission in 2003 as a leap forward in China’s journey toward great power status, copying the activities of the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War in order to improve its current international standing. The paper suggests that certain state capabilities are great power ‘status symbols’ and similar status motivations may be behind big-ticket military capabilities that are usually read as signs of Chinese threatening intent. The article is at: http://www.chinasecurity.us/pdfs/FionaCunningham.pdf

Fiona Cunningham

  • Fiona Cunningham