While we're considering the announced ambitions and attitudes of the Russian and Chinese space programs, let's put those into the wider context of the emergence of the so-called BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. While you keep in mind the ineptitude of the sock puppets in Congress and the White House, and the financial meltdown that the banksters and ratings houses of Wall Street put the USA and Europe into, consider the following article (and mind you, normally I don't go to Wikipedia as a source, save here the article is based largely on analyses and studies undertaken by Goldman-Sachs):
I hope you caught one significant thing in that article, and I have been trying to draw attention to it throughout some previous blogs; it's this paragraph:
"Goldman Sachs did not argue that the BRICs would organize themselves into an economic bloc, or a formal trading association, as the European Union has done. However, there are some indications that the "four BRIC countries have been seeking to form a 'political club' or 'alliance'", and thereby converting "their growing economic power into greater geopolitical clout". On June 16, 2009, the leaders of the BRIC countries held their first summit in Yekaterinburg, and issued a declaration calling for the establishment of an equitable, democratic and multipolar world order. Since then they have met in Brasília in 2010 and will meet in China in 2011."
In other words, those nations are simply tired of having the geopolitical and economic reality of the globe dictated in a uni-polar world view emanating from the banking houses of New York, London, and Switzerland(Home of such stalwart institutions such as the International Monetary Fraud...er...Fund, and the Bank of International Swindling...er...Settlements, that's the one that was the brainchild of Hitler's Reichsbank president, Dr. Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, by the way). They apparently have not read Zbigniew Brzezinkski's The Grand Chessboard and apparently don't know the scripted parts they're supposed to play....or, worse, perhaps they have read it, and simply aren't going to play.
This changing geopolitical and economic situation is in part what is driving the current (and I would argue, insane) Western rush to intervene in the various Middle Eastern conflicts, for with Russia entering the energy export field, and with Venezuela becoming increasingly identified with the Russian component of the BRICs nations, we can expect further growing influence of those nations in South America. The realignment we are witnessing in the geopolitical sphere also would explain, in part, Germany - with the world's fourth or fifth largest economy (depending on which set of data one uses) - was so reluctant to involve itself militarily in the rest of the West's adventures in Libya, for Germany has been and is realigning itself with Russia to allow that country to become its chief energy supplier, and not the more unstable Middle East.
The transition we are in, according to Goldman-Sachs, could last until ca. 2030-2050. Strap yourselves in, and hope that the ride won't be too bumpy.