The NASA administrator’s warning that China would ‘take over’ the moon as part of a military mission was rejected by China on Monday as an irresponsible smear, noting that it has always advocated for the establishment of a community of states in space.
Over the past ten years, China’s space programme has accelerated, with a concentration on moon exploration. Aiming to launch rockets powerful enough to take astronauts to the moon by the end of this decade, China made its first unmanned lunar landing in 2013.
In an interview with the German daily Bild that was published on Saturday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: ‘We must be very concerned that China is landing on the moon and saying: ‘It’s ours now and you stay out’.’
According to the head of the U.S. space agency, China’s space programme is a military one, and China has stolen concepts and technology from other countries.
According to Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, ‘This is not the first time the president of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has neglected the facts and spoken carelessly about China.’