(ORDO NEWS) — If you look at the photographs of every crew on the International Space Station (ISS) since 1998, you will not see a single Chinese astronaut (taikonaut) smiling at the camera lens.
This seems strange, especially given the rapid development of China‘s space program, which in 2003 became the third country in history to ever independently send a man into space.
Maybe China does not want to participate in the ISS program? No, China was simply banned.
“China wanted to be part of the ISS consortium, a program that certainly needed funding. However, the United States banned it,” reads a 2013 ForeignPolicy.com article.
The fact is that in 2011, longtime critic of the Chinese government, US House of Representatives member Frank Wolf, launched an initiative to prohibit the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA from collaborating with China in any scientific field. In the same year, the ban was included in the US Congress’ spending bill.
“We don’t want to give them [China] the opportunity to use our technologies,” Wolf said in his speech to Congress.
“China is spying against us and every US government agency has been cyberattacked.
They are stealing technology from every major American company.
They steal technology from NASA and attack the computers of the National Science Foundation.
Our great minds create, invent, and the Chinese just steal.”
According to international experts, China’s space program is a military program that masquerades as scientific research.
“The reality is that when we interact with the Chinese space program, we are, in fact, interacting with the Chinese military,” said political analyst Ding Cheng.
Thus, the tension between the US and China, as well as the ban on joint space research, is likely to continue.
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