Wei Qi is the favorite Chinese board game chess with more than two hundred pieces rather than sixteen, allowing for significantly increased strategic complexity. When Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei lifted off into space from China's Jiuquan launch site just after 9 am on 15 October 2003, returning twenty-one hours later after sixteen orbits around the earth China made a significant geostrategic Wei Qi move. China views long-term geostrategic politics as having about the same number of possible permutations as a Wei Qi board, and it is posturing accordingly. The Shenztioti V launch was part of that posturing. Perched atop a Long March (CZ-2F) launcher, the Shenztioti V spacecraft took China's first taikonaut on a trip thoroughly rehearsed during four unmanned precursor missions. Within China, a publicity campaign was carefully crafted to bring interest and national pride to a peak at the time of the event. Worldwide, media attention was considerable. Prelaunch speculation about the implications of the Chinese manned space program ranged from dubbing it a stunt to speculation about a new space race, to angst over its potential military significance.