In 2011, China will launch a permanent space station. On August 17, China announced that they had finished constructing the first module and it will now undergo testing. When the space station is launched, it will join the International Space Station in orbit. Under international law, states are allowed to use space but international agreements have created some restrictions.
The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, or by its shorter/friendlier name the Outer Space Treaty, was opened for membership when the the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2222 in 1966. There are currently 100 state parties to the Treaty (including China, Russia, and the United States) and 27 additional countries have signed but not ratified.
Under the Treaty, it was agreed that:
By meeting the requirements of the Treaty, a country, such as China, can launch their own space station.
At the stalled Conference on Disarmament, the future of space arms control agreements continues to be a topic during speeches. In 2008, Russia and China proposed a new treaty that would ban weapons from space. With the new National Space Policy that the Obama administration released on June 28, 2010, the United States has indicated a willingness to consider space arms control treaties that are "equitable, effectively verifiable, and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies."