Chinese Astronauts Eager to Join Space Flights with Foreign Counterparts

Chinese Astronauts Eager to Join Space Flights with Foreign Counterparts

It has been almost 15 years that the International Space Station (ISS) has been in operation, representing a global space exploration efforts put in by five participating space agencies. ISS's participating space agencies of the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada have been working on the venture, but China has never been made part of it.

Nie Haisheng said in an interview with CNN that as an astronaut, he has a strong desire to fly with astronauts from other countries. He also has dream to go to ISS and be a part of space explorations, he said.

China several times has kept forward its desire to be involved in the efforts, but US lawmakers appear to see things differently.

An Act passed in 2011 barred NASA from entering into any cooperative space ventures with China. As per US lawmakers, the ban was imposed to protect national security.

Space analyst Miles O'Brien told CNN that whenever the issue is raised anywhere near Congress, it immediately gets shut down.

"There is tremendous skepticism there about China. It is viewed as a foe, it is viewed as a government that seeks to take our intellectual property -- our national secrets and treasure", he said.

China has tried several times to alleviate these fears, and has even asked for policy changes through political representatives as well as Chinese astronauts from their space agency.

Wang Jin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told CNN that the Chinese government has always advocated the peaceful use of outer space; it only opposes space weaponization and an arms race in pouter space.

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