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. Lei Fanpei, vice president of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), which oversees much of China’s launch vehicle and satellite manufacturing industry, specifically called for cooperation on manned space flight, in which China has made massive investment in recent years, reports Peter B. de Sekling of Space News.
While cooperation with the United States has been shut down, he said, China has maintained relations with the 18-nation European Space Agency, Brazil, France, Russia and others.
Lei said he sees three areas in which U.S.-Chinese cooperation would be in both nations’ interests. The first, he said, is an open commercial access of each nation to the other’s capabilities in satellites and launch vehicles. The second, he said, is manned spaceflight and space science, particularly in deep space exploration. The third is in satellite applications including disaster monitoring and management.