The Chinese space program is under the supervision of its national defense ministry and plans to start building a crewed space station next year.
"China is a concern and some could say it is a bigger threat than Russia," said the British government source. "There is certainly a threat to intelligence services from the Chinese, who are very smart and very good at obtaining information that they do not have, have long-term plans, and you never know what their goals are."
Defense experts have warned that there is a "free for all" legal stream in space without hindering countries blocking GPS satellites by launching cyber attacks or using lasers to destroy space resources.
China has already demonstrated its ability to shoot satellites in the sky and in 2013 it used a rocket to destroy a 35,000-km-long spacecraft, a height seen as inaccessible.
Nigel Inkster, former MI6 Operations and Information Director at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: "I do not think China has made any secret of its space ambitions and there is certainly a military element to it.
"China is extremely conscious of the fact that the US has projects on space military capabilities and is looking to make sure they can fit or overcome them and develop a military force that is a credible threat. It sends a signal that they now have capabilities bigger and I think Donald Trump will certainly use it to insist on a new Spatial Force. "
China is only the third nation, after the US and Russia, to make a soft landing on another world, and although the Changes 4 spacecraft will first explore the history of the lunar surface and the solar system, it will also try , grow potatoes, hunt mineral deposits and explore new communications links.
"China is not just doing this for science," said Dr. Malcolm Davis, an expert in the Chinese army and space at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. "China's space program is military and everything it does has a direct military advantage or long-term strategic long-term advantage," he said.
Professor Rana Mitter, an expert in modern history and policy at Oxford University, added: "Much of China's technological development is related to research by army branches, so military applications of space technology will certainly be taken considering in Beijing. "
China carried out its first space mission in 2003, only a third country that did so after Russia and the US. He put a pair of space stations in orbit and plans to launch a Mars rover in the mid-2020s.
Shortly after becoming China's president in 2013, Xi Jingping said that "the dream of space" would make the country stronger.
Today, a Henry Jackson report warned that China could overtake the UK next year as the second largest power behind the United States after huge investment in R & D and the rapid expansion of its defense budget becoming "a serious challenge for the West".
Last month, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced he has contracted 160 million pounds ($ 288 million) to develop ways to combat future threats, including cyberwar and space warfare.
The latest achievement also makes it more likely that the Chinese will put people back on the Moon before the US.
Professor Lord Martin Rees, British Royal astronomer, said: "The Chinese have much to do before it matches the records of American or European programs.
"But with their technical virtuosity and conducting government, they could, if they wished, take the lead in developing a monthly basis."