What is the status of the Chinese space programme?
TCG does not actually know. Namely because you have to separate the wheat from the chaff regarding such subjects. There is a hell of a lot of chaff out there which looks like wheat and a lot of wheat which looks like chaff.
Propaganda and Chinazis do not help either when they make big bold claims about things. Things such as the DF21 missile. Chinazis will say it can sink carriers specifically Nimitz and Ford class carriers. The thing is it has never been tested in combat. Much like when the USN says the Tico and its AEGIS system can stop any missile. But the AEGIS system has never been tested in combat too. Added to the fact it is in the interests of opposing forces to exaggerate the capabilities of the enemies weapon systems this means more funding for them to counter this major threat. For example the T72 was seriously exaggerated by the US intelligence community as a death machine that it could take out any US made tank. Though this was potentially true when the tank first came about since the US only had the M60A2. Which an ex tank driver who chatted to me in a bar in Mongolia told me was a piece of shit. However the T72 was a death machine..... for its own crew...
Anyway I'm going way off tangent here (whats new?)
Also there is a big difference between saying something and doing something, therefore Chinese officials want to go to Mars by 2040. But that's 30 years in the future who knows what;ll happen round the corner let alone 30 years? Ok so there are some things like the North South Water project which Mao promised the people about 50 years ago. This is finally coming online.
Also the fact that China is currently run by engineers and leaders who say make it so rather than kowtowing to accountant types such plans more credence than plans western leaders might happen to have.
IIRC the next big thing is a skylab type space station by 2017.