All right everyone. Please bear with me as I attempt to explain the random shower thought I had today. Hopefully, you'll find it as entertaining as I did. So, in The Martian, Matt Damon's character is a botanist that gets stuck on Mars after a research mission goes awry. Once he realizes that he will be all alone and stuck on Mars for a long time, it becomes clear that he needs to grow more food to keep himself alive. After resourcefully figuring out how to grow a bunch of potatoes in the middle of the base, people get in contact with him and tell him "once you grow crops somewhere you have officially 'colonized' it".
As a major fan of this underrated movie, I remembered this quote, and about fell over in my shower, when I read on CNN's website that according to the Chinese government, they sent cottonseeds to the moon in a Chinese probe and they just sprouted. If we were to accept The Martian's definition of colonization, China will technically be the first country to "colonize" the moon if the cottonseeds fully mature.
Now you may be thinking, "Wow Katelyn. That was the most pointless connection of thoughts that I have ever read." Well, my friends, that may be true, but it did lead me to start thinking about the rights China could get as a colonizer on the moon, which has broader implications for the future. If it was decided that it was legal to take as much land as you can use and for any purpose, China would undoubtedly monopolize the moon until they had competition with other countries or private businesses for space and resources.
China could create a base for lunar launches to further space travel in our solar system, use it for military testing, mine for various minerals and so much more. It would undoubtedly cause a rapid increase in Chinese scientific findings and their GNP. Additionally, the United States would probably become intimidated and quickly find a way to make it up there since we tend to be a bit competitive. Anyhow, this is all conjecture and this free for all policy is highly unlikely to happen, but it was fun to think about while I was in the shower.