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China Challenges U.S. Ambassador’s Misleading Remarks on Space Cooperation

The remarks of U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns at the Brookings Institution on Dec. 15, 2023 continue to receive critical coverage in China. Most recent is that of the Jan. 3, 2024 editorial in China’s Science and Technology Daily newspaper. In his comments, Burns had claimed that he didn’t believe that “the Chinese have shown much of an interest in working with the U.S.” in space. But, from the very beginning, China had said that its space project was open to all countries and that Beijing would have been more than happy to work with the U.S.

Of some note, in February 2021, Yang Liwei, China’s first taikonaut, was hosted in Washington by former U.S. astronaut Bill Nelson, and then went for a tour of the Cape Kennedy Space Center in Florida At the time, Nelson came under fire from the neocons, who warned that his nomination as NASA Administrator would never fly if he didn’t discard his “pro-China” views. Since then, Nelson has made a complete about-face in regard to China.

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