WASHINGTON, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Congress should adopt a "more constructive set of policies" that encourages rather than bans U.S.-Chinese cooperation and collaboration in space, a U.S. expert said Tuesday, just as China launched its fifth crewed space mission.
In an interview with Xinhua, Gregory Kulacki, senior analyst and China project manager for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, criticized the Congress for its stance on barring U.S. space agency NASA from any partnership or collaboration with China.
"I believe the current U.S. prohibitions on cooperation with China in the area of human spaceflight are counterproductive," said Kulacki. "They serve no beneficial political, economic or strategic purpose and may, in fact, harm the strategic interests of the United States."
Kulacki said he was hopeful that with the passage of time the U.S Congress "will adopt a more constructive set of policies that encourages greater contact and cooperation between space professional in China and the United States."
He noted that the Chinese human spaceflight program poses no security risks to the United States and it also "does not threaten U.S. interests or the status of the U.S. as a leader in human spaceflight" as the U.S. has completed similar tasks in the 1960s and 1970s.
As to China's plans about the construction of a space station, Kulacki said the decision to experiment with small space labs before constructing a larger space station reflects China's "consistently cautious and patient approach" to developing its human space flight program.
"It is one indication China is not racing or competing with any other country, but systematically working towards acquiring a capability to place humans in space and sustain human activity in space for increasingly longer periods of time," he said.