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China Calls NASA Chief ‘Colonial,’ Says Won’t Take Over Moon

A NASA official has come under fire for saying China plans to claim the Moon as its own and wants to militarise space

Handout image of China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 spacecraft
Handout image of China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 spacecraft on the moon. Photo: Reuters


China slammed NASA administrator Bill Nelson for his “colonial” mindset toward its space programme after he said Beijing may take over the moon.

Nelson was called “narrow-minded” and accused of hyping ”the China threat” in space in an article in the state-run Global Times.

Nelson had earlier told Germany’s Bild newspaper that  “We should be very concerned that China will land on the moon and say: ‘This is ours now’.”

Nelson also said “China’s space programme is one military space programme” and claimed the Chinese “do not want to share the results of their research and the Moon to use together.”


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Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, said it was the US who was militarising space and that China believes the Moon belongs to humanity and not any one nation.

China’s space programme is a peaceful one, Song told Global Times, who claimed the US is mistakenly looking at Beijing’s space programme in the same way it looked at Russia’s in the 1960s and 1970s.

The report went on to argue that the US’s real concerns are over China’s scientific and technological development but added there was hope for cooperation between the superpowers in space.

It called on the US to repeal the Cox Report, which accused China of  “covert operations within the US during the 1980s and 1990s,” and the Wolf Amendment, passed by Congress in 2011, which bans NASA from using government funds to cooperate with China without explicit authorisation.

Song argued the world’s nations need to cooperate in space and said the US was wasting its energies looking for enemies as it looks to secure a technological monopoly over its rivals.


  • By Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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