Chinese Official Urges U.S.-Chinese Space Cooperation

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty Source: Space News COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A top Chinese government space official on April 14 appealed to the U.S. government to lift its decade-long ban on most forms of U.S.-Chinese space cooperation, saying both nations would benefit from closer government and commercial space interaction. He specifically called for cooperation on manned space flight, in which China has made massive investment in recent years. Lei Fanpei, vice president of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), which oversees much of China's launch vehicle and satellite manufacturing industry, said China purchased more than $1 billion in U.S.-built satellites in the 1990s before the de facto ban went into effect in 1999. Since then, the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) have made it impossible to export most satellite components, or full satellites, to China for launch on China's now successful line of Long March rockets. The ITAR regulations that tightened the U.S. technology export regime were put into place to punish China for its missile exports, and to slow development of China's rocket industry by reducing its customer base. Most commercial telecommunications satellites carry at least some U.S. parts, which is why ITAR has all but locked China out of the global commercial launch market. [Full story]

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