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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 6:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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