Lunar soil Photo:Xinhua
A spokesperson for the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said on Friday that he is 888slot link alternatif"confused" about US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns' recent claim that China does not intend to collaborate with the US on lunar exploration. It is the US, not China, that is "the root cause of this inability to cooperate," the spokesperson said. "I don't understand if the US is playing word games or just passing the buck."
Burns' remarks reflect a typical tactic used to shift blame onto and smear China, which in essence revealed the US' hegemonic mentality, and ultimately, it will only end up hurting its own technological development, experts said.
Answering a question from media, the US envoy to China recently said he "doesn't believe China has shown much of an interest in working with the United States" regarding space collaboration, which Burns labeled "a contested area."
Refuting the claim, CNSA spokesperson Xu Hongliang told media on Friday that China has always maintained an open and inclusive attitude toward exchanges with the US, and welcomes researchers from all countries to apply for lunar samples in accordance with the procedures.
"However, I am puzzled by the fact that while the US claims to seek cooperation, some are still citing the Wolf Amendment, which restricts cooperation with China, even advocating for its permanent implementation," Xu said.
What Burns was really saying is that the US can refuse to share technology with China, but China should take the initiative to share technology with the US; if China refuses to, it will be considered as "engaging in a space race," Kang Guohua, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told the Global Times on Friday.
Kang commented that this reflects a typical American mind-set characterized by its self-contradictory logic, which can be seen in almost every high-end technology sector.
In 2006, space agencies of the two sides established a working group mechanism for space cooperation and had multiple communications on common areas of interest. However, in 2011, the US introduction of the Wolf Amendment led to an almost complete interruption of exchanges between the two.
In 2015, the US again proposed the establishment of a civil space dialogue mechanism, to which China responded positively. Three dialogues were held, but the planned fourth meeting, which was supposed to be hosted by the US, has been delayed until now without any explanation.
China has always been a supporter of bilateral space cooperation, and has never placed any laws or regulations that restrict cooperation with the US, the spokesperson said. "The root cause of this inability to cooperate lies in the US government's repeated handling of space affairs with a Cold War mentality."
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also responded to Burns' remarks on Friday, saying that if the US genuinely wishes to promote exchange with China in the field of space exploration, it should abolish the relevant legislation and cease making irresponsible statements.
The latest episode comes shortly after NASA on December 1 greenlit and urged scientists it funds to apply for access to China's lunar samples returned to Earth via Chang'e-5 mission in an exception to the Wolf Amendment, which prohibits such bilateral activities with China.
The move opens a rare possibility of cooperation between entities and researchers funded by the two space agencies, after NASA certified its intent to Congress to allow this to happen.
However, despite desperate calls from the US science community to lift the cooperation ban, NASA emphasized that "the allowance applies specifically to Chang'e-5 mission samples and that the normal prohibition on bilateral activity with China on NASA funded projects remains in place."
Such hypocritical move has drawn widespread criticism from US netizens. "Shame on NASA, shame on US! As if China needs US assistance on its space programs. Go keep the Wolf Amendments and hug it tight! Practically BEGGING China for some samples yet acting with arrogance," read a comment on the US media outlet spacenews.com.
The reason why NASA so eagerly wants China's lunar samples is that the US last retrieved lunar samples in the 1970s, and it has been almost half a century since it brought back any material from the Moon. Meanwhile, China's lunar exploration program has been steadily advancing, discovering new substances and continuously achieving new scientific research results. "This is unbearable for the US government, which claims to be the world leader in aerospace technology," Kang said.
Furthermore, the Chang'e-5's lunar soils are of practical significance to NASA's current Artemis lunar exploration project, as it needs to become familiar with the characteristics of substances on the Moon before landing on it again, Song Zhongping, a space analyst and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Friday.
The many regulations imposed by the US on China often end up becoming shackles that hinder its own development. "This is another vivid example illustrating the concept of 'tying oneself up in a cocoon,'" Kang said.
Currently, CNSA has signed over 170 cooperation agreements or MOUs with more than 50 countries, space agencies, and international organizations. These collaborations include partnerships with major space powers such as Russia and France, as well as with developing countries like Brazil and Pakistan.
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