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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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RE: china is a nice place
By Buspar on 10/16/2007 9:06:56 PM , Rating: 3
"China is a repressive communist regime. They (the communist party in china) does not allow any opposition parties. None. Zero. This means that the only the ruling class has any real say in China."

False. The Guomingdang (KMT) has operated in mainland China for a couple decades now. They are officially recognized and operate as a legitimate opposition party (I believe they even have a few people in China's congress). Many of the current KMT officials in the mainland are returnees from Taiwan, ROC. There are other parties who operate at regional/province levels, as well.

"They do not support any religious freedom. Whether you have any religious beliefs of your own or not is your own decision. Denying someone else to have a religious belief system is unconscionably immoral."

Also false. Taoism, Buddhism (real Buddhism, not the Tibetan offshoot), and ancestor worship (i.e. the old original religion) are all being allowed to flourish. While Atheism is still the state religion, they're no longer treating China's traditional culture as outdated or counter-revolutionary.

Foreign religions (Christianity) are scrutinized, as are cults, mainly out of fears they could be used for political attacks on the country. This fear stems from previous European imperialism, where Christianity was used as a propaganda weapon to subvert China's last government. Islam, however, operates mostly without interference in the border regions of China where that population resides.

"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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