Ajey Lele and Gunjan Singh of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses offer an Indian perspective on China’s recently released white paper outlining its plans, they say, “to emerge as a major space power at par with the U.S.”

“It is important for India to realize the relevance of Chinese achievements in space technologies. But at the same time India need not get into the competitive mode,” Lele and Singh write.

They say New Delhi should focus on programs that “contribute to the overall socio-economic growth of the country and those that offer strategic advantages. … There is no point in engaging in flashy projects like manned missions purely for the purpose of raising nationalistic feelings.”

The writers suggest that India should make a stand on commercial space. “From providing other countries the facility of launching satellites to engaging in space tourism, the potential of this market is growing exponentially,” Lele and Singh write.