China/U.S. Lovers spat... Apr 5, 2006 13:01:07 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Apr 5, 2006 13:01:07 GMT -6
Chinese Space Progam Chief Regrets US Refusal To Cooperate
Washington (AFP) Apr 05, 2006
China regrets that the United States has rebuffed space cooperation with China, the head of China's space agency told his American counterpart in Washington.
In a meeting Monday with National Aeronautics and Space Administration chief Michael Griffin, Luo Ge reminisced how "very open" he found the United States when he first visited this country in 1980, and later in the 1990s.
"Now, it's the other way around," he said through an interpreter at the privately-run Center for Strategic International Studies, after meeting with Griffin.
The Pentagon has publicly said it considers China's space program a potential threat to the satellite systems so crucial to US military supremacy, a concern shared by many US lawmakers.
"I think a country, if it's open, is going to have progress, and if it's closed, then it's going to be left behind," Luo said.
From 1950 through the 1970s, he said, China was a closed society with a slow rate of development. In the 1980s it began making significant progress, showing it was interested in opening up. Today, he added, "China is very open."
Asked if China was interested in cooperating with the United States and other countries in the development of the International Space Station, Luo said: "We have always been interested, but we don't have (an admissions) ticket yet." He also stressed that China was cooperating in space programs with Europe, Russia, Brazil, Nigeria and Venezuela.
Luo said that China spent about 500 million dollars (more than 400 million euros) per year on its space program, a mere pittance compared to the 16.8 billion (13.8 billion) NASA has requested from the US Congress for fiscal 2007, beginning in October.
Luo also said China was planning several unmanned lunar missions, beginning with an orbital mission next year, a landing in 2012, and bringing samples of lunar material back to Earth by 2017.
With two manned missions orbiting Earth so far, China is third behind the United States and Russia in sending men into space.
Story here: www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinese_Space_Progam_Chief_Regrets_US_Refusal_To_Cooperate.html
I don't know how open China claims to be, but some sort of cooporation is not a bad idea. I need more info.