Why China didn’t broadcast Apollo 11’s Moon landing

When American landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, the world celebrated except the Soviet Union and its allies, and China. I lived in China at that time. Chinese people didn’t learned about it at all.

This should be understandable because China had been in intense relation with the United States after Korean War. But it was also a little strange because China had broken face with the Soviet Union at that time. Just in March of that year, China and the Soviet Union had a military conflict on their border (珍宝岛自卫反击战). I read a blog that tried to explain the reasons (see 不转播登月实况的一个秘密理由).

The author believed that there were several reasons. The main reason is that the policy toward the west could not be suddenly switched to 180 degree. It is like a big ship with big momentum. There could be other reasons: The two astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong are both Korean War participants. Aldrin flew 66 combat missions in F-86 Sabres and shot down two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 aircraft. Armstrong had 87 missions in Korea. If China had reported the news on Apollo 11, it would be difficult to introduce these two astronauts, the enemy of a post war, to the Chinese people. Other than, perhaps, the Chinese government didn’t believe it at all.


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One Response to “Why China didn’t broadcast Apollo 11’s Moon landing”

  1. Reed Rubinstein Says:

    Thanks for the great post.

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