China has not just made an historic landing on the moon. It has also given notice that the country is set to become a global leader in technology and science. And it is proving American trade disputes for the envious vandalism that they really are. Earlier this week, China’s national space agency celebrated the new year with a successful touchdown of an unmanned lunar probe. But unlike previous lunar landings by the United States and Russia, the Chang’e-4 module was able to navigate to the far side of the moon. The so-called dark side of the moon – which never faces planet Earth – presents unique technical challenges because of communication problems. But the Chinese have done it. And the achievement is being hailed as “a new chapter in space exploration”.

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