China on Monday opposed remarks made by an official of NASA on its space program after the administrator of US space agency Bill Nelson said that Beijing's space program is a "military" space program.
Addressing a press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that it is not the first time that NASA has disregarded the facts and smeared China.
He said some US officials have continuously framed and slandered the normal and reasonable outer space cause of other countries, and China firmly opposes such irresponsible remarks.
Zhao said Nelson, as the director of the US aerospace department, should be very aware of the dark history of the US space program, the negative role the United States has played in creating space junk, provoking arms races in outer space, and undermining global strategic stability.
In recent years, the United States has openly defined outer space as a combat domain, accelerated the formation of the outer space force, developed and deployed offensive outer space weapons, and has long passively resisted the negotiation of legal documents on outer space control, and continuously strengthened the outer space military cooperation with its allies, he said.
According to the Chinese spokesperson, the United States has set up obstacles in space cooperation, arbitrarily sanctioned the space agencies of other countries, and introduced laws to restrict space cooperation and exchanges with China.
China advocates the peaceful use of outer space, opposes the weaponisation of an arms race in outer space, and calls for the building of a community with a shared future in outer space, Zhao said.
He stressed that China's exploration of outer space is to meet the legitimate needs of the country's economy, society, science and technology, and security. The development of China's aerospace industry is achieved independently, and its rights and achievements cannot be questioned or smeared.
"We urge the US official to earnestly shoulder the responsibilities of a major country, seriously review and correct the negative words and deeds of the US side in outer space, and make due contributions to safeguarding sustained peace and security in outer space," Zhao said.
Earlier, Bill Nelson told the Bild newspaper that China might be contemplating a "takeover" of the Moon as part of its military space program.
Nelson said that the US is now involved in a new race to space, with China this time. He further claimed that in 2035, Beijing might finish the construction of its own Moon station and start experiments a year later.
Nelson claimed that we must be very concerned about China landing on the Moon and saying that it now belongs to the Peoples' Republic and everyone else should stay out, RT reported.
The Chinese spokesperson also rejected those claims.
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