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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: Science is a great diplomat
By Ringold on 10/17/2007 4:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
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%.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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