Despite reports of massive Chinese espionage campaigns, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and being a military and economic rival, Joe Biden’s space advisers want him to work with China on exploration.
“Trying to exclude them I think is a failing strategy,” Biden’s NASA transition team member Pam Melroy, a former astronaut, told Politico before the election. “It’s very important that we engage.”
Politico interviewed nearly two dozen astronauts, government officials, and space experts about whether there is a fear America could lose its position as global space leader.
“My concern is not that China is going places, but that our partners are going to China,” ex-NASA administrator and astronaut Charles Bolden told Politico. “We seem to be satisfied to allow them to go off and build their own space station.
“That’s short sighted,” the former Obama administration official continued, adding, “It’s not the mark of a good leader.”
It is not surprising a former Obama official and Biden supporters seek a working space relationship with China.
The Trump administration is far less friendly with China, particularly since the global coronavirus pandemic – with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for the end of “blind engagement” with China. The recent intelligence of a massive Chinese spying operation in the United States should be even more concerning to all but Biden advisers.
“It’s one thing to be willing to share things with a former adversary who is weakened and not in a position to exploit what you’re sharing,” astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria told Politico. “I don’t think that’s true with the Chinese. I think we’re very leery about them learning about our technology and putting it to their own uses that might not be in our best interest.”