Gordon Chang: Cooperation With China on Space Will Not Work The Long March 3B rocket carrying the Tiantong 1-02 satellite launching from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang in southwestern China's Sichuan province on Nov. 12, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 25 December 2020 01:56 PM
Advisers to Joe Biden have been encouraging him to work with China on space exploration, according to reports, but such coordination has never worked out for the United States in the past and the move could prove dangerous because "China is trying to militarize space," foreign affairs and China expert Gordon Chang said Friday.
"They are ahead in certain critical technologies," Chang told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "They will try to exclude other nations from getting to the moon. That you can learn from the comments of the head of China's lunar exploration program. They want to keep everybody else out. That is why they want to get there first."
Earlier this week, Politico reported that Biden's top advisers said that a limited space partnership between Washington and Beijing could both reduce tensions and the likelihood of a fierce race for space. Almost all of the two dozen former astronauts, space experts, and government officials interviewed by Politico agreed that if the United States shuts out Beijing, it could lose its place as the world's space exploration leader.
Chang, however, pointed out that China tries to steal $150 billion to $160 billion in intellectual property, or even more, every year, so he doesn't see how cooperation would work.
"You can put limited safeguards in place and all sorts of things but we know at the lower levels, scientists like to cooperate," said Chang. "They like to share. That is where we lose our technology and where they purposely go after low-level scientists on these cooperation projects. So all these safeguards that we say are putting in place, they really don't mean very much."
Chang added that "we are certainly being naive" as a nation about China.
"We don't understand the militancy of the Chinese regime," he said. "We are afraid to talk out loud about (their) nuclear goals. Clearly, we do not understand it. As Ronald Reagan said, you have to understand the nature of these regimes. Yes, the American people are just like the Chinese people, but that doesn't mean the American government is like the Communist Party of China. It certainly is not."