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The Aftermath of the US Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act: What’s Left for China?

Shengli Jiang & Yun Zhao

JEAIL Volume 11, Number 1 (2018), 9-34


The US Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act 2015 aroused heated discussions. The international community has not yet reached consensus on the application of the concept of “common heritage of mankind” in the Moon Agreement. In accordance with the non-appropriation principle in the Outer Space Treaty, outer space is not subject to national appropriation. However, there is a need to balance the common interests of the international society and the interests of the States and private entities which invest heavily in the space resource exploration. The unilateral approach of the US by adopting a national law is not an ideal way to deal with space resource exploration. As a major space-faring nation, China should take a proactive approach in both national legislation and international cooperation in this field. At the international level, China should consider establishing an appropriate international regime for space resource management.

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