China plans to launch 13,000 satellites in the next ten years to compete with SpaceX's Starlink constellation.
The goal is to provide global internet coverage, but the real motive may be to enhance China's military and surveillance capabilities.
China's current satellite network is not as advanced as those of other countries, including the US, Russia, and Europe.
The project is being led by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).
– The company has already launched several satellites, including those for Earth observation and military use.
The 13,000 satellites will be part of a three-tiered system that will provide global coverage, regional coverage, and short-range communications.
The project will require significant investments and technological breakthroughs, particularly in the areas of propulsion, power, and communication.
The satellites will operate in low-Earth orbit, which is a congested area and could pose risks to other satellites and space debris.
The project raises concerns about the militarization of space and the need for international regulations to ensure the peaceful use of outer space.
The US and other countries are also working on their own satellite networks to provide global internet coverage, including SpaceX's Starlink and Amazon's Kuiper.
The US and China are already in a race to dominate the space domain, and China's plan could accelerate the competition.
China's plan could also have geopolitical implications, as it could allow China to extend its influence and control over other countries that depend on its satellite services.