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China says open to space cooperation with U.S.

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BEIJING: China always holds an open attitude towards space cooperation with the U.S., a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday, urging the U.S. side to take practical measures to remove obstacles hindering cooperation in this field.

Spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a daily press briefing after NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on Wednesday congratulated the success of China’s Chang’e-6 mission. Nelson expressed a willingness to increase space dialogue and cooperation with China.

“Chang’e-6 completed the world’s first sampling and takeoff on the far side of the moon, taking a historic step in the peaceful use of outer space by mankind,” Mao said, noting that many countries have made positive comments about the mission, expressing gratitude for the same.

She noted that China and the U.S. had established mechanisms such as the working group on Earth science and space science cooperation and the China-U.S. civil space dialogue mechanism, as well as a mechanism for the exchange of orbital data between the two countries’ Mars probes.

“At present, there are some problems and difficulties in China-U.S. space cooperation that are rooted in U.S. domestic legislation, such as the Wolf Amendment, hindering normal exchanges and dialogue between the space agencies of the two countries,” she said.

The Wolf Amendment, adopted in 2011, prohibits NASA from engaging in direct or indirect cooperation with China.

“If the U.S. sincerely hopes to promote exchanges and cooperation in the space field between the two countries, it should take practical measures to remove these obstacles,” Mao noted.