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The ISS  (Source: NASA)
China wants in, but the U.S. may not allow it

Chinese space officials today announced the country is still willing to work alongside the United States on extraterrestrial endeavors, especially the International Space Station.

"We sincerely hope to conduct cooperation with the United States in the field of space," said Li Xueyong, Vice Minister of Space and Technology.  "At some point we hope to take part in the activities relating to international space stations."

Sixteen nations are currently involved in the ISS project, but China is not one of them even though the country has one of the fastest growing space programs in the world.  China would ultimately like to have an astronaut stationed on the ISS in the future, but must convince the United States and other partners to allow a communist nation to be allowed to participate in the project.

Li did not clearly specify how China hopes to help the participating nations work on the ISS.

State media in China reported the country plans to launch its first lunar probe before November, only weeks after Japan launched one into orbit.  In 2003, China became the third nation to successfully launch an astronaut into orbit with no help from other nations.

There is growing concern over the country's expanding space program, which reached a new level after China announced it had destroyed an old satellite last January by shooting a land-based missile to destroy it.  Critics of the launch claim China could theoretically launch a missile to destroy active military satellites, though Chinese officials still claim the nation has only peaceful plans for space.


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Science is a great diplomat
By Buspar on 10/16/2007 8:52:29 PM , Rating: -1
I see the Neocon anti-China rhetoric is popular on these boards. Anti-Chinese rhetoric today is reminiscent of the anti-Japanese propaganda of the 1980's. Whenever a country presents a legitimate economic rival, US companies and politicians always start saber rattling. And the arguments made today are about as vapid as the ones back then, and as always they're tinged with the ever-lovable "yellow peril" racism of the 1800's.

Despite what the xenophobes tell you, war with China is not inevitable. The US makes a big deal over China's missile test, but in fact the US has tested similar tech many times for longer. So US objections are pure hypocrisy. "Do as we say, not as we do!"

China does not have to be an enemy of the US. Both countries are right now in a symbiotic economic relationship: China produces, US consumes. If allowed, this can give rise to an excellent partnership that benefits both. It's only in the minds of short sighted "America/China first and only!" types that antagonism has to exist.

A good first step to this partnership would be to invite China into the ISS program and allow science to be a diplomat. Science has bridged cultural and political gaps before. And I think the US could do with a better understanding of who and what China is beyond the biased filters of corporate media, Hollywood, and shrill pundits.




RE: Science is a great diplomat
By slunkius on 10/17/2007 1:19:56 AM , Rating: 2
One question: if one country produces, and the other country consumes (sorta simplification, but that's how things are going now), how long the equilibrium will remain?


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By spluurfg on 10/17/2007 7:20:13 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's quite so simple in that everything is starting from one point and ending at another. The global economy is a vast web. The specific relationship between China and the US is complicated, especially given the asymmetry of market liberalisations in each country. I'm sure the equilibrium will change, as it constantly has through history, but I think I agree that trade relationships can be made to be mutually beneficial and is something worth aiming for, rather than playing with a zero-sum-game mindset.


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By Ringold on 10/17/2007 4:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but I think I agree that trade relationships can be made to be mutually beneficial and is something worth aiming for, rather than playing with a zero-sum-game mindset.


I would say that the relationship has already been beneficial for both of us, not just China. All we hear about is rough figures for job losses; never job creation, inflation protection, huge markets for corporate paper or our government bonds, or a massive and growing export market. The other side of the argument, being more technical in nature, is often completely drown out by the shrill opposition to freer trade.

In fact, if you look at the relationship, China is far more important to us by some measures than America is to China, which may be sobering for people of either political background that might be surprised to think such a thing is possible.. especially for a country that so many love to hate. Even stripping out the net foreign factor from their growth their domestic consumption increases account for around 10% of growth, leaving trade I guess to 6 to 9%.


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By spluurfg on 10/17/2007 7:15:02 AM , Rating: 2
While I do acknowledge that neo-con rubbish and demagoguery abounds (including the perception that all Russian financials are ex FSB, etc) I would argue that there would be legitimate concerns regarding China just as legitimate concerns exist regarding other nations.

However, I think the point you make is a good one -- that such a scientific relationship can be an expository one, with the belief that such a relationship might be more englightened than the more common nemesis-neurosys (which often runs both ways) we see in the media. It seems that such a partnership has been successful between the US and another critical ISS partner, even if that success doesn't seem to have spilled over into politics.


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By Ringold on 10/17/2007 4:12:41 PM , Rating: 1
Take your propaganda elsewhere. It is the liberal anti-free trade / anti-globalisation political elements, not conservatives, that have the most harsh rhetoric regarding China. As someone else said, conservatives merely note certain legitimate security issues and I for one have never heard a conservative of any repute talk about war with China over *any* issue other than if China were to enforce it's view of it's dominion and take Taiwan -- which is an issue China itself raises, not the United States, and has existed since.. what.. the Formosa Resolution?

You're absolutely right regarding our symbiotic economic relationship, you're just wrong as to who you're trying to tag with blame. Should it even surprise you that the random political blunder of the month, possibly of 2007, has been Congressional Democrats pissing off Turkey to no clear end except perhaps to raise campaign money and scuttle an alliance in the war on terror? The best possible defense is that they were simply so entirely ignorant of what it was they were doing that they didn't see the repercussions but that's hard to believe since 8 former Secretaries of State pleaded with Pelosi to back down. Trade unions push the Democrats to oppose Chinese imports and FTA's in general, though I think the few conservatives that also vote against them deserve some naming and shaming.. but they're in the minority.

I'll also point out that Bush has done an impressive amount of work trying to get as many trade deals done with countries as he possibly could.. but, again, it's the Democrats scuttling those deals, not "Neocons". Compare that to the trade language coming out of Democratic presidential hopefuls, which is bleak enough as to almost be scary.

I'll finally ask what the hell you think the evil corporate filter you think is regarding China as watching any given hour of CNBC will tell you that filter is one of amazement and admiration for a country that in some ways is more economically free than our own. I'd suggest that whatever slant Fox or CNN adds regarding China isn't corporate but political, which is entirely different.

Perhaps it'd be beneficial to move out from whatever deeply entrenched liberal circles or groups you travel or communicate in and get a more balanced view of current events. I'll knock Republican's for many things, especially Bush, but to suggest that "neocons" somehow have a monopoly, even a majority, of the anti-Chinese feelings in America is just hilarious.


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By Buspar on 10/17/2007 5:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you that liberals are also guilty of anti-China propaganda. From what I've seen recently, though, the loudest yelling has come from the right on this issue. For example, most of the (baseless) opposition to the feds buying Lenovo computers came from Republicans. Also, Bush all but insulted Hu Jintao when he visited back in 2006 by not giving him a proper state dinner - standard procedure when the head of state of your chief economic partner comes to visit. Even during the height of the Cold War, the US treated the Soviet prime ministers with more respect when they visited the White House.

I bring up corporate slant because of what's happened in the past when a Chinese company has tried to purchase American companies (ex. CNOOC trying to purchase Unocal, Haier trying to buy Maytag). In both cases, the media started carrying strong anti-China rhetoric, stirring up fears that China was trying "buy out the US" and such. None of this was true, of course - it was motivated by CNOOC's and Haier's rivals in the bids (Chevron and Whirlpool) who used their advertising and lobbying dollars for influence.

I think it's fair to say both sides of America's political spectrum tend to be less than objective when dealing with China. It's a perfect example of Edward Said's "orientalism" at work in the modern day. This is why letting them into the ISS is such a good idea: NASA is less likely to throw propaganda around than other agencies.


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By Ringold on 10/17/2007 6:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, Bush all but insulted Hu Jintao when he visited back in 2006 by not giving him a proper state dinner - standard procedure when the head of state of your chief economic partner comes to visit.


quote:
In both cases, the media started carrying strong anti-China rhetoric, stirring up fears that China was trying "buy out the US" and such.


I think we have to differentiate between political mumblings to keep the ignorant masses and political bases from erupting and actual action.

The Bush record on trade is impressive given how little political capital he had to spend. Despite occasionally having to join the masses in denouncing one thing or another or giving Hu a public slight he has faithfully pursued FTA's with everyone he could. If not for the typical sticking points on farm subsidies he might've succeeded with the Doha round of talks.. perhaps could've still if the Democrats hadn't allowed his fast-track trade authority to expire. He even brought a grizzled Wall Street veteran aboard in the Treasury, who walks a fine line between saying the right things in public but working diligently behind the scenes to attend to our business interests. Not giving Hu his state dinner had no real impact.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have been in power less than a year and already have alarmed every business paper and magazine I read with not only trade deals already scuttled or mangled but their promises, likely to be kept if elected, of future trade skepticism. A little Googling or searching of papers like WSJ or The Economist will show as much; The Economist almost weekly frets about the stark shift from Bill Clintons embrace of trade to his wifes rhetoric -- which is milder than some of her companions.

I'll agree though that neither side is entirely objective.

Oh, and Presidents of both parties had far more class, IMHO, during the Cold War than the current breed does, heh.


RE: Science is a great diplomat
By Ringold on 10/17/2007 7:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and ever since the Dubai thing, Neal Boortz (the only radio talk show I listen to, unless Clark Howard counts) has been blasting the Bush administration on trade protectionism. Boortz doesn't represent all Republican's, of course, but one has to remember that a large portion of the Republican Party's base is in small government and liberal economic policy -- liberal in the classic sense of free markets, not the modern sense of socialism. The opposite parties base is in labor unions. These fundamentals show no sign of being deviated from to any large degree.


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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