China’s a plan to save the world

August 18, 2011

Anticipating a potential asteroid collision in 2036, Chinese researchers at Tsinghua University in Beijing have come up with a plan to build a solar sail that would launch years in advance, intercept the asteroid up to a year before the imminent collision, and push it enough off course so that it would miss the Earth.

Yes, this is all more than a little fantastic, but things like this help China to build it’s soft power bona fides.¬† Actually, given the enormous expense of such an endeavor, this would be a combination of hard and soft power, using Walter Russel Mead’s definitions of “sticky” power (economic muscle) as an aspect of hard power and “sweet” power (attractive ideals) as an aspect of soft power.


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