The father of the Chinese space program was one of the founders of JPL, Jet Propulsion == rockets. The U.S. government hounded him so much for being Chinese, and possibly a spy, he eventually returned home to China and built a space program there.
The rest of your thesis is deeply flawed and NOT insightful. The U.S. space program is alive and well at JPL, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Orbital Sciences and a number of other private companies.
The only thing that went wrong was letting a series of U.S. Presidents, Congress and NASA completely screw it up for a few decades. Space programs need to be run by visionaries with a plan, laser focus, sufficient resources and the capacity to stick with it even when its hard, so they acheive their goals. Von Braun was the visionary who made Apollo happen. Musk is the most likely visionary to get the U.S. to Mars first.
The space program as run by the U.S. government and NASA is doomed, if for no other reason than they completely change the strategy every 4 to 8 years, and their strategic decisions are based on how many jobs will be created in the districts of powerful Congressmen, not sound or rational engineering or whether a project is worth doing. As a result NASA seldom ever finishes anything (outside of JPL and observatories).
NASA is also never held accountable for failure to finish anything, partially because politcians always cancel the programs half way through right before they actually have to build and do something. NASA's staff need to propose projects that are well engineered and worth doing, tell Congress to fund them at a sufficient and sustained level to finish them, and if Congress and President wont they need to threaten to mass resign. If NASA can't do programs like that they should all mass resign, shutter the failed parts of the organization and put the money directly in to places like SpaceX and Orbital Sciences.