China plans to reach Mars by 2020 and eventually build a moon base

China has plans to orbit the moon, land people on it, and eventually settle a moon colony. But that’s just part of the nation’s vision for space exploration: China intends to get a spacecraft to Mars by 2020. Wu Weiren, chief designer of China’s moon and Mars missions, told the BBC of the country’s plans.
"Our long-term goal is to explore, land, and settle [on the moon]," he said in a video interview. "We want a manned lunar landing to stay for longer periods and establish a research base."
Weiren didn’t specify when the country plans to accomplish these goals, but he did say they will "check out" the far side of the moon before attempting to land astronauts there. This mission already has concrete plans.
He also said China wants to reach Mars by 2020, and implied that the country has finally settled on a mission to send a rover to the Red Planet.
"We will orbit Mars, land and deploy a rover — all in one mission," Weiren told the BBC. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, told Tech Insider in March that China would definitely be the next country to successfully complete a crewed lunar mission.
His rationale: China is one of the only nations currently setting its sights on the moon. While space budgets in the US and Russia have shrunk since the heyday of the Space Race, China is ramping up its spending.
For example, the country landed a rover called Chang’e 3 in 2013, making it the third nation behind the US and Russia to successfully complete a soft landing on the moon. It was also the first moon landing in almost four decades.
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission predicted a crewed mission could soon follow in its annual report to Congress in November 2015.
"Beijing has not approved a plan to send humans to the moon," the report said. "In its 2011 white paper on space, however, Beijing acknowledged it is ‘researching the critical technologies for manned lunar exploration,’ and it began a feasibility study that same year for a manned mission to the moon with a potential launch date of 2020, 2025, or 2030."
Whether the country has officially approved a plan to send a crewed mission to the moon is unclear, but we now have confirmation that it’s part of the plan.