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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 Ringold on 10/17/2007 7:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
So while China is dealing with African dictatorships today, give them a couple decades and you'll see that those countries aren't dictatorships any longer.

I think there's some validity to that; political freedoms follow economic prosperity and the higher education that comes along with it. I would say, to be fair to the WB, that an army of PhD economists who've spent most their lives studying economic growth really may know a thing or two more about growth and reform than the local run of the mill strongman. Not ever third world country is as lucky as, say, Rwanda and it's Harvard graduate president. Left to their own devices I'd fear they'd follow the Venezeula/Chavez example; wouldn't that be their natural inclination to keep a grip on power? Some others, surely, would follow the China example to prosperity. The World Bank & IMF at least have noble goals; China probably couldn't care any less about local outcomes. I also somehow doubt, regarding a different group, that Chavez and his attempt at a South American WB equivalent will be preaching the good world of free market capitalism.

The WB is also having a mid-life crisis and considering decoupling advice and aid. A good idea, I'd agree. I'd just rather keep the wayward flock at the WB feeding trough; at least they're concerned about the billion living in abject poverty, even if they can only do so much.

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