Tuesday, November 1, 2016

US, China Silent on Space Talks, Except to Say There Will Be More

US, China Silent on Space Talks, Except to Say There Will Be More: The United States and China appear to be keeping an unusually low profile as they push for more dialogue and cooperation on space exploration.

The State Department hosted a new round of space cooperation talks in Washington last week with a delegation led by China's National Space Administration (CNSA), but U.S. officials didn't publicly announce the meeting until Monday, via a tersely worded press release that said a third round of civil space dialogue would be held in China next year.

CNSA has yet to make any public mention of the talks, which included Pentagon officials and representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey.

In the United States, cooperation with China's space agencies is a sensitive topic. U.S. law prohibits NASA from working with CNSA on manned space programs, and the U.S. military is concerned that cooperation with China's space sector would help China improve its ability to threaten U.S. space assets.

NASA officials, however, have called on Congress to lift the ban, calling U.S.-China space cooperation a logistical imperative.