US, China Agree to Discuss Cooperation in Space

The United States and China have agreed to discuss expanded cooperation in space exploration and science. According to a joint statement released in Beijing on Tuesday, the two counties will start a “dialogue” on human space flight and exploration, and both nations looked forward to reciprocal visits by the NASA administrator and appropriate Chinese space leaders in 2010. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, currently in Japan, said cooperation on the high frontier could pay dividends for both countries.

“I am perfectly willing, if that’s the direction that comes to me, to engage the Chinese in trying to make them a partner in any space endeavor,” Bolden said, according to AFP. “I think they’re a very capable nation.

“They have demonstrated their capability to do something that only two other nations that have done, that is, to put humans in space. And I think that is an achievement you cannot ignore.”

He said China is a nation “that is trying to really lead” and that if the two space powers cooperate, “we would probably be better off than if we would not.”

From the joint statement:

The United States and China look forward to expanding discussions on space science cooperation and starting a dialogue on human space flight and space exploration, based on the principles of transparency, reciprocity and mutual benefit. Both sides welcome reciprocal visits of the NASA Administrator and the appropriate Chinese counterpart in 2010.

The statement also said the two countries applaud the rich achievements in scientific and technological cooperation and exchanges between the two countries over the past 30 years, and agreed to further upgrade the level of exchanges and cooperation in scientific and technological innovation through the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation.

Read the full agreement statement.

Source: CBS News Spaceplace

5 Replies to “US, China Agree to Discuss Cooperation in Space”

  1. Good to hear everyone’s starting to work together. I hope this doesn’t slow ‘progress’ due to less competition.

  2. “based on the principles of transparency, reciprocity and mutual benefit. ”

    I’m guessing that that was the US’s line. When was the last time China showed any sort of belief in transparency, reciprocity or mutual benefit? They’re about the least transparent government in existence, have shown very little good faith in bargaining for resources and commodities with other countries (and then arrest foreign corporate leaders for supposed espionage, funnily enough, just after the company in question had upped the already low price of iron ore for China to purchase), and well, China’s idea of mutual benefit seems to be handing over weapons to support Sudan’s (and the rest of sub-saharan Africa’s) corrupt leaders in return for resource deals. Happy days – more weaponary in Africa! Based on the successful model of the US, whereby increased gun ownership clearly reduces the prevalence of violent crime, this is a winning move. Or did the US base their model of gun ownership for children and the common man on the example of the violent African dictatorship? I always forget…

    Or the mutual benefit of China and Tibet, whereby China moves in, creates a two tiered society, rips the soul out of the country and brutally represses the locals. China gets territory – Tibetans get to go to bed at night with the pride of knowing that they just got jammed long and hard by such and up & coming country! Prosperity by association perhaps?

    Anyway, if this provides some benefit for science it would be nice. I reckon it’s all just posturing though, and I just cannot see China doing this unless America bends over for them and hands over ridiculous amounts of tech for not too much in return. And seeing as I can;t see America doing that, then I believe it is all for naught.

  3. If we or any other nation decides to put politics before science, then nothing gets accomplished. To include the ISS.

    Whatever prejudices you have, keep them out of science.

    Besides, there is currently no common link where the West and China work on something together, in which both have mutual interest and mutual gain. Perhaps this common link,will go a long way in establishing something.
    It doesn’t always have to be an equal quid pro quo. A little bit of trust can go a long way.

  4. Finally!

    If we or any other nation decides to put politics before science, then nothing gets accomplished.

    Politics are vital, but here it is innocent. One can also make a good case for that we leave Earth politics behind as we move into space. (If not now, so eventually.)

    I looked over the political [first spelled “plotical”; well, I guess that was what it looked like :-o] concerns raised in this thread, but I didn’t see anything that not US or EU has made before, like being less than transparent, providing weapons to other nations, or taking or retaking territory. So all of that is a strawman for all I can see.

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