China did not miss the opportunity to criticize NASA, but also its administrator, Bill Nelson, after the delay of the launch of the Artemis 1 mission.
The Chinese state and Communist Party-owned publication The Global Times slammed Nelson, who in turn criticized China ahead of the launch, which was due to take place on Monday, August 29.
“The Chinese have a lot of technology from everybody else, and as a result, they’re very good,” Nelson said, implying that China’s space program is “good at stealing technology” from the US and other countries. While he did not elaborate on his claim, there is some evidence to support it, with in 2019 a years-long undercover mission to apprehend a Chinese national allegedly attempting to steal missile components and US spaceships.
NASA accuses China of stealing technology
The Global Times reported that a Chinese aerospace expert, who the media said spoke on condition of anonymity, called the NASA administrator’s remarks inflammatory and malicious.
“Since the beginning of the era of human space exploration, no country has ever claimed a share of the resources of outer space,” the expert told the Global Times, “especially given that there are regulations in the UN Framework Convention on Outer Space Cooperation cosmic”.
Nelson and China despise each other
This is far from the first time Nelson has come into conflict with China. In early July, the NASA administrator accused China of trying to “steal the Moon” in an interview with German newspaper Bild, quoted by Futurism. Unsurprisingly, Chinese representatives responded in kind.
“The US side has constantly developed a smear campaign against China’s normal and reasonable efforts in outer space, and China firmly opposes these irresponsible remarks,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a press conferences after Nelson’s comments appeared in the media.
Nelson’s disdain for China is well documented, and the feeling is clearly reciprocated by China as well.