Sino-American Space Cooperation Dependent Upon Greater Transparency

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

Space News has a bit more on NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s upcoming trip to China:

Damon Wells, a senior space policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, cautioned that numerous legal and policy challenges must be addressed before the United States can forge a cooperative partnership in human spaceflight with the Chinese. During a two-day meeting of the U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee here Oct. 6-7, Wells made no mention of Bolden’s travel plans, but said in response to a committee member’s question that inviting Beijing to participate in the international space station program is “a very complex issue” here and in China.

“Those challenges touch issues like the need for more transparency in the Chinese program, nonproliferation questions — there’s a wide swath of issues that make this a very complex problem,” Wells said in response to a question from a committee member. “I don’t know when we’d be far enough along the path for that to make sense and where we’d make enough progress on those issues for that to make sense. I see the arena and I see the challenges and I just don’t know how to answer your question beyond that.”

Wells’ comments came just over a week before Bolden’s scheduled Oct. 16-21 visit for introductory talks with officials in the Chinese space agency. The talks were called for in a joint U.S.-China statement issued by the White House last fall following the official state visit to Beijing by U.S. President Barack Obama…

During a U.S. visit in April, a top Chinese space official said Beijing has established a good working relationship with space agencies in Russia, France, Germany and other countries, and that China looks forward to working with the United States in space science and manned exploration efforts in the future.

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