Rocket scientist blasts charges against US firms


BEIJING: A prominent Chinese rocket scientist blasted as laughable US charges against two firms for illegally sharing space technology with China, saying only China was responsible for the success of its space programme. 

The comments in a front-page article in the Yangcheng Evening News seen here yesterday were the first from China since the State Department charged Hughes Electronics Corp and Boeing Co’s Satellite Systems unit with passing technology to China. 

The announcement of the charges at the beginning of the month came just days after China successfully launched what it has hailed as its final unmanned rocket, the Shenzhou IV, before it sends a person into space later this year. 

 

Wang Decheng, a rocket specialist and chief designer of China’s “Long March” LM-2E rocket, was quoted in the newspaper as saying the charges merely showed how little the United States knew about China’s space programme. 

 

“Our space programme has been developed with total reliance on our own efforts. The Americans completely lack an understanding of China’s space technology,” Wang said. 

 

“Moreover, in China’s space flight industry, China has its own production conditions and technology requirements and could not possibly mechanically copy American technology,” he said. 

 

The article detailed previous US claims that US firms had given sensitive technologies to China and said the latest accusations were just a reheating of the same old issue. 

 

It questioned whether the charges against Hughes and Boeing were designed to fan the flames of anti-Chinese sentiment much like the Cox Report to the US Congress of 1999, which concluded that China had stolen design information on every type of nuclear warhead in the US ballistic missile arsenal. 

“This time, the US State Department has accused the two firms, as luck would have it, right after the successful launch of the Shenzhou IV spacecraft and just as we are about to realise manned space flight,” the article said. – Reuters  

  • Another perspective from The China Daily, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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