China regrets that the United States has rebuffed space cooperation with
China, the head of China's space agency told his American counterpart in
In a meeting Monday with US 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.
A man looks at a
China-made Shenzou spaceship model on display in 2005. 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.
"Now, it's the other way around," he said through an interpreter at the
privately-run Center for Strategic International Studies, after meeting with
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.