The time was between 2123 and 2148. In the 22nd century, most world mineral resources were depleted, and asteroids appeared to be the only locations in the Solar System to look for resources. During the year 2132 U S intelligence discovered that there was a fleet of giant clustered rockets sitting on the launch pads in Jiuquan, the largest Chinese space port, ready for launch. Alarmed, authorities searched old surveillance files and discovered that this fleet was a part of a deep interplanetary space expedition project which began a few years ago. Famed U S space scientist Dr. David Zhang of NSEA (National Space Engineering Administration) examined the surveillance images, and discovered that a newly established Chinese corporation XinTianDi was developing a kind of humongous nuclear devices with powers equivalent to several thousand megatons (billion tons) of TNT equivalent. A Los Alamos nuclear weapon expert Jack Brown was of the opinion that such huge nuclear devices had no places in war. Meanwhile, Dr. David Zhang also discovered that the armada of humongous spaceships was also the work of XinTianDi, and a fleet of spaceships, also humongous, launched earlier were heading towards a 90 mile sized asteroid 8 Flora. U S President immediately ordered the launch of a spy spaceship to 8 Flora to find out the intentions of the Chinese space fleet. This spy spaceship discovered that the Chinese were using autonomous robots to build a base station on 8 Flora. This project was under the leadership of a Chinese top space scientist, Dr. Wei SiMei (Stanley Wilson), a descendent of an immigrant from the United States. Under his leadership, the Chinese were sending minerals from this asteroid. U S immediately began a space project as never seen before, also to establish a mining base on 8 Flora. The project was under the leadership of David Zhang. Thus China and the United States were engaged a fierce but peaceful competition to mine the asteroids.
Yet China was already one step ahead. China had already made plans to bring an asteroid to become a satellite of the Moon. Using nuclear explosives with total blast power of several thousand megatons TNT equivalent, Chinese robots were able to separate a pair of contact binary asteroids, and one component was heading towards the Earth via Mars. Using the gravity of Mars, this component, X19380A, was slowed down enough to be captured by the Moon as a satellite. China renamed this newly acquired Moon satellite “GuangHanGong,” a mythical palace on the Moon in Chinese mythology. Soon afterwards, U S also used a set of humongous nuclear blasts to send an asteroid to near earth space, and it also become a satellite to the Moon. The United States named the newly acquired trophy Mahina, Hawaiian goddess of the Moon. The United States used the excuse to develop Man in Mars program to mothball Mahina, and secretly planned to use it for military objectives. China, on the other hand, developed GuangHanGong into a space tourist resort. China leased lands on GuangHanGong to several financial groups of the world to develop similar space resorts. The story ends with a maiden voyage of a Chinese space liner, HouYi-ChangĔ to GuangHanGong.
As for the story of La Boutique Fantistique, please read this book.