Bolden Heads for China, Indonesia for a Bit of Space Diplomacy

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is headed to China and Indonesia this week for talks that will include preliminary discussions on cooperation on human spaceflight between NASA and the Middle Kingdom.

The Chinese trip, which has raised some hackles in Congress, is “intended to be introductory in nature and will not include consideration of any specific proposals for human space flight cooperation or new cooperation in any other areas of NASA’s activities,” Bolden wrote in a letter to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).

Wolf had written to Bolden recently objecting to the trip, saying that Congress has placed limits on U.S. cooperation with China in space. The conservative Congressman, who is line for the chairmanship of NASA appropriations subcommittee if Republicans take control of Congress next year, has been very critical of China on human rights and military issues.

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