Washington, DC – Congressman John Culberson (TX-07) sent the following letter to President Obama regarding NASA Administrator Bolden’s upcoming meeting with the China National Space Administration in Beijing:
Dear Mr. President:
I have just been made aware that NASA Administrator Bolden will be traveling to Beijing, China, this week to begin a dialogue on human space flight cooperation between NASA and the China National Space Administration (CNSA). I have grave concerns about the nature and goals of China’s space program and strongly oppose any cooperation between NASA and CNSA’s human space flight programs without Congressional authorization.
Until now, the United States’ involvement with the Chinese space program has been limited to a single Earth science research project. Because of the military nature of China’s space program, Congress has set limitations on cooperation and discussions on human space flight collaboration, particularly without adequate consultation with Congress. Last November, the Washington Times reported that Chinese air force commander Gen. Xu Qiliang said, “competition between military forces is now turning toward the realm of space, [and] military modernization is ceaselessly expanding into space.” Statements like this, along with the numerous hostile actions conducted by China in space, are alarming and bring into question the motivations of China’s space program.
Earlier this year I raised my strong concerns about cooperation with China and offered an amendment to the House FY11 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill that would prohibit any federal funds from being used to develop or plan any collaboration activities with China unless such activities were specifically authorized by Congress. Similar legislative proposals have been offered by other Members of Congress as well.
Considering that Congress has raised concerns about and set limitations on cooperation with China, I do not believe it is appropriate for the Administrator to meet with any Chinese officials until Congress is fully briefed on the nature and scope of Mr. Bolden’s trip and planned discussions on cooperation.
Member of Congress
To view a PDF version of the letter, please click here.