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  China and U.S. open lines to space cooperation (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   China and U.S. open lines to space cooperation
minipci
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From: London, UK
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 09-09-2013 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the BBC, Why the United States needs to work with China in space:
Should the two superpowers collaborate on missions? Yes, argues Richard Hollingham, history shows what’s possible when you stop treating rivals as the enemy.
Editor's note: Threads merged.

garymilgrom
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From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 09-09-2013 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I disagree and the reasons are given in the article:
(China) has a vast security apparatus constantly bombarding the US defense and space industry with cyber-attacks. It also operates military and spy satellites, and is far from open in discussing its space capabilities.
Also the author's comparison of a Chinese-made trinket being sold at KSC and sharing ITAR-level technology is simplistic at best.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 09-09-2013 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Funny. Last time I checked China is still a Communist country.

And a Chinese entrepreneur, who decided to stay in Switzerland rather than go back, interviewed yesterday on Swiss TV, said "The Chinese are very good at copying things; inventing and creating new things, not so much."

Their manned space program is a copy of the Russian's. And would the US and Russia continue to cooperate if the US wasn't paying for those Soyuz seats? And what does the US have to gain from cooperating with the Chinese anyway?

dom
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posted 10-05-2013 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Guardian report says it all about the possibility of future American/Chinese space co-operation...
NASA is facing an extraordinary backlash from US researchers after it emerged that the space agency has banned Chinese scientists, including those working at US institutions, from a conference on grounds of national security.

NASA officials rejected applications from Chinese nationals who hoped to attend the meeting at the agency's Ames research centre in California next month citing a law, passed in March, which prohibits anyone from China setting foot in a NASA building.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3133
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-05-2013 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Open press is reporting that the Chinese just conducted another anti-satellite test involving the use of a robotic satellite to grab another satellite. Given China's propensity for "borrowing" technology from other countries, resistance to Chinese national participation/exposure to NASA program's is merited.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-05-2013 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
Open press is reporting...
To be clear, the report is not as confirmed as the "open press" make it out to be. To clarify, "open press" in this regard is a single conservative paper (the Free Beacon) that is questionable in its conclusions.

Veteran journalist Leonard David summarizes what is known about the Chinese satellites launched in July, and specifically Shiyan 7, which made a surprise and "mysterious" maneuver recently.

Other experienced observers, including Jonathan McDowell and Jim Oberg have called the Beacon's report into question, in particular its unsupported assertion that it was an ASAT test.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 543
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 10-05-2013 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The notion that the Chinese have "stolen" all their space technology from the US is a self-serving myth. I recommend Handberg and Li's book on China's space program, or any of the work by Johnson-Freese. Yes, they have stolen plenty (so have we, though I'm not drawing a moral comparison), but most of their manned space tech was either bought from the Russians (radar/tracking, re-entry etc.) or domestically produced. Even if one doesn't like China, to suggest that it's all "stolen" technology is a strategic underassessment of their capabilities. Ignore that at one's risk.

I asked Tom Stafford last year how important ASTP was in terms of being able to gauge Soviet intentions and capabilities in space, and if a similar effort with respect to China now could be effective. He answered that yes, absolutely it was important in terms of the former, and as for the latter, yes it could but the decision to do that would have to come "from the top" of both countries.

That said, I'm in favor of more international space cooperation not as an intelligence tool - although it would be that (for all parties) - but just because it's the sensible thing to do from a political, scientific and budgetary point of view.

dom
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posted 10-06-2013 05:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
...resistance to Chinese national participation/exposure to NASA program's is merited.

I can understand NASA's worries about not allowing Chinese citizens to physically set foot on its facilities but when a country starts banning scientists from an international conference because of their nationality then there are much wider issues involved.

Stories like this aren't doing America's reputation any good at all. Events like this and the recent Snowden revelations about NSA spying of apparent "friends" are having an impact. People around the world are beginning to lose their faith in the good intentions of the USA. This actually gives China the moral high ground - not an easy task!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28697
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2013 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dom:
I can understand NASA's worries...
Just to be clear, NASA doesn't have worries; it is federal law that prohibits Chinese nationals from stepping onto NASA property, and that law was not instigated by NASA.
quote:
This actually gives China the moral high ground...
No it doesn't. U.S. citizens, scientists included, cannot visit Chinese space installations (outside of carefully organized PR trips). And given that China openly admits to monitoring all internet traffic coming into and out of its country, it's not unthinkable they have a similar surveillance program to PRISM.

dom
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posted 10-06-2013 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That wasn't what I was getting at Robert - we all know that the Chinese have a sophisticated online monitoring network too.

My main point was that international scientists are now seriously saying that space conferences should be held OUTSIDE of the US. That's a problem for America's well won reputation for non-political interference in science matters...

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28697
From: Houston, TX
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posted 10-06-2013 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, to that I can agree. The law is certainly misplaced, the work of any overly obsessed lawmaker. Unfortunately, Washington is so broken right now that there's little to no chance of the law being changed any time in the immediate future.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3133
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2013 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The law is informed by intelligence estimates and threat assessments. I dont think it fair to judge the merits of the law without having access to the full facts and assumptions underpinning its enactment.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28697
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2013 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The law was drafted and driven through Congress by a lawmaker who thought the best way to penalize the Chinese for their human rights' violations was to restrict access to the United States and its resources.

While I do not dismiss valid concerns regarding the welfare of Chinese citizens, further restricting scientists and engineers from working together to expand human knowledge is not the way to go about solving the problem.

mode1charlie
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From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 10-06-2013 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes. The law seems to be based on one lawmaker's tendentious perception, not intelligence estimates or threat assessments - none of which call for American tactical disengagement with Chinese scientists.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3133
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2013 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wolf's view of the Chinese coalesced not only from that country's abysmal human rights record, but also membership on the Foreign Operations sub-committee (which exposed him to intelligence) as well as direct targeting by Chinese state sponsored cyber exploitation of his government computers.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3133
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2013 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
While I do not dismiss valid concerns regarding the welfare of Chinese citizens, further restricting scientists and engineers from working together to expand human knowledge is not the way to go about solving the problem.
Utopia may exist some day but at present one has to deal with reality. The unclassified version of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate provides a glimpse of Chinese behavior as it pertains to espionage activities... that country robustly employs all means at its disposal (including its scientists and engineers) to seek military, geo-political and economic advantage over the US.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-06-2013 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wolf's own policy summary regarding China makes no mention of intelligence concerns or cyber attacks, so at the best, they aren't his primary concerns. He has said in past statements that his motivations towards China are driven by his regard for human rights, which is admirable but misplaced in this specific regard.

And utopia needn't exist to see the value of letting the exchange of scientific and engineering knowledge. Had the Soviets been open about their early human spaceflight tests, the Apollo 1 crew may have still been alive today (as just one example).

China is being singled out because a lawmaker wants to make a point about human rights.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 543
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 10-06-2013 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
... that country robustly employs all means at its disposal (including its scientists and engineers) to seek military, geo-political and economic advantage over the US.
Hopefully you don't assert that all Chinese scientists and engineers are spies, which at best would be a rather unsubstantiated claim, and especially curious given that Chinese scientists are often those who are the ones pressing for greater internal transparency, human rights, and political reform in their country.

But more to the point: asserting that a scientific meeting on Kepler space science might provide classified-level information that might be leveraged by a foreign military is, putting it politely, untenable.

It's really unfortunate that misguided attitudes by Wolf et al are politicizing science and holding back international scientific cooperation for demonstrably peaceful purposes.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-08-2013 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congressman Frank Wolf is now saying NASA misinterpreted the law and the Chinese scientists are welcome to attend the Kepler science conference at NASA Ames Research Center.
Wolf's office issued a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Tuesday seeking to correct an article on the matter that first appeared Friday in The Guardian newspaper, as well as NASA's stance.

"Unfortunately, the article is riddled with inaccuracies, as is, it appears, the guidance provided by NASA Ames staff to the attendees," said the letter.

The law "primarily restricts bilateral, not multilateral, meetings and activities with the Communist Chinese government or Chinese-owned companies," it said.

"It places no restrictions on activities involving individual Chinese nationals unless those nationals are acting as official representatives of the Chinese government."

dom
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posted 10-20-2013 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to see NASA has now reversed its earlier decision and Chinese scientists are now able to attend the conference after all...

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3133
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2014 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Policy Online reports about testimony before the House Armed Services Committee classifying China's counterspace capabilities as "extremely serious."
Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) today that China's counterspace capabilities are "extremely serious" and "on a par" with its offensive cyber operations. The only issue on which witnesses disagreed was on the value of diplomacy and a Code of Conduct in addressing the threat.

Also testifying at the HASC hearing today were Robert Butterworth of Aries Analytics and Michael Krepon of the Stimson Center. The hearing was before the HASC subcommittees on Strategic Forces and on Seapower and Projection Forces.

Tellis asserted that the "current and evolving counterspace threat posed by China to U.S. military operations... is extremely serious and the threat ranks on par with the dangers posed by Chinese offensive cyber operations to the United States more generally." He added that the "diversity and complexity" of China's counterspace activities make them "particularly problematic." He listed a spectrum of capabilities from direct ascent and co-orbital antisatellite (ASAT) programs to electromagnetic warfare to directed energy and radio frequency weapons as well as computer network attack capabilities.


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