Yahoo Finance: Potential for Mining the Moon Heightens Stakes of U.S.-China Divisions

China, US Are Racing to Make Billions From Mining the Moon’s Minerals

By Bruce Einhorn

Just like in the era of Sputnik and Apollo more than half a century ago, world leaders are again racing to achieve dominance in outer space. But there’s one big difference: Whereas the U.S. and the Soviet Union hashed out a common set of rules at the United Nations, this time around the world’s top superpowers can’t even agree on basic principles to govern the next generation of space activity.

The stakes are even higher when it comes to the U.S. and China, which are erecting economic barriers in the name of national security as ideological divisions widen over the pandemic, political repression and now Vladimir Putin’s war. Their inability to cooperate on space risks not only an arms race, but also clashes over extracting potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of resources on the moon and elsewhere.

“China wants really badly to be seen as the NASA of the future,” said Michelle Hanlon, co-director of the Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law. “It wants to be that leader. China feels that it’s China’s time.”

As the U.S., China and other nations target the moon, the need to establish rules to avoid conflict is becoming more urgent.

Read the complete report here.