BEIJING: Grudgingly acknowledging the Indian Space Research Organization’s world record feat of successfully launching 104 satellites on a single rocket would make “Indians proud,” China’s official media said on Thursday that India’s space program offered “food for thought” for other countries on how to achieve space success with small budgets.
“This is perhaps the first widely followed world record India has made in the field of space technology. The Indians have reason to be proud,” state-run Global Times said in its editorial today.
However the tabloid daily, which criticized India in 2013 for sending Mangalyaan to Mars overtaking China, despite “millions of poor and illiterate people” said the significance of the ISRO’s new feat is “limited.”
Acknowledging that the new record is a “hard-won achievement for India to reach current space technology level with a relatively small investment,” the daily said “it offers food for thought for other countries.”
“India launched a lunar probe in 2008 and ranked first among Asian countries by having an unmanned rocket orbit Mars in 2013,” it said.
India ‘has done a good job’
“Many lessons can be drawn from India. As a rising power, it has done a good job. It is ambitious but pragmatic, preferring to compare with others as an incentive to progress. India’s political and social philosophy is worth pondering,” it said.
“Nonetheless, the development of a country’s space technology is determined by the size of its input. According to data released by the World Economic Forum in 2016, the U.S.’ space budget in 2013 was $39.3 billion, China $6.1 billion, Russia $5.3 billion, Japan $3.6 billion and India $1.2 billion,” it said.
“As India’s GDP is about one-fifth to one-fourth that of China’s, the share of investment in space technology in India’s GDP is similar to that of China’s,” it argued.
The daily, which has been carrying critical articles against India on almost on daily basis, also sought to make out a case that India is spending more on defense than China in terms of GDP ratio.
China’s last year’s budget amounted to $146 billion against India’s $46 billion.×
“India’s defense budget is about one-third of China’s, a higher percentage of GDP than that of China,” it said.