China Slams NASA Chief Nelson as Race to the Moon Gets Heated
By Bloomberg News
05 July 2022
The competition between the US and China to explore outer space turned prickly after Chinese diplomats blasted the head of NASA and encouraged neighboring countries to support Beijing’s plan for exploring the moon.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday accused NASA Administrator Bill Nelson of lying “through his teeth” in response to reported comments in a German tabloid about the space competition between the two countries.
Bild cited Nelson as saying the world should be concerned that China might lay claim to the moon and stop other countries from exploring it. In the interview, he also accused China of stealing technology from other nations and said Beijing was learning how to destroy satellites launched by other countries.
“This is not the first time for the chief of NASA to lie through his teeth and smear China,” Zhao said at the Foreign Ministry’s daily press conference. “In recent years the US openly defined space as a war-fighting domain.”
In response to Zhao’s comments, Nelson said the Chinese space program is run by its military, while the US agency runs a peaceful and open civilian space program with international participation, according to an emailed statement.