To move forward, what's required is a unified space agenda based on exploration, science, development, commerce, and security.
You can never tell when a commercial space venture will suddenly become viable.
In space, you don't get that much noise. Noise doesn't propagate in a vacuum.
Most people never believed in the real possibility of going to the moon, and neither did I until I was in my twenties.
The decision to go to the moon is now appreciated and associated with President Kennedy's speech, but somebody else had told him it was a good idea. It turned out to be a good commitment, but it was a unique situation.
All the Chinese have to do is fly around the Moon and back, and they'll appear to have won the return to the Moon with humans. They could put one person on the surface of the Moon for one day and he'd be a national hero.