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Chindia - Cooperation in the space race?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 21, 2006

Forget for a moment the heated rivalry between China and India. With Hu Jintao now in India, the theme for this week is cooperation. Maybe that’s why a top Chinese scientist has told an Indian reporter that the two countries - both of which have plans to send missions to the Moon - should be pooling their resources on a joint effort in space. The Indian Express reporter, Pallava Bagla, interviews Wu Ji, identified as the “chief scientist for the Chinese space science research and Director for the Center for Space Science and Applied Research (CSSAR) in Beijing.” According to Bagla, Wu says that India and China should team up in space. “It is not like the Cold War (days), relations between the two countries are getting better and better. We certainly wish to have collaboration with India and we should find more opportunities to talk with the India space agency,” Wu tells the newspaper.

Bagla goes on to quote an Indian official, J N Goswami, director of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, saying that “a joint investigation in science which is well focused and transparent will be helpful.”

No doubt it would be great if the Chinese and Indians could pull this off. It took the Americans and the Russians decades to get to the point where astronauts and cosmonauts were working closely together. Rather than simply staging a 21st-century update of the U.S.-Soviet space race, Asia’s emerging powers could show that they’ve learned from the Westerners’ expensive mistakes by fast-forwarding to the era of cooperation. That would allow them to take advantage of talent on both sides and save money that they could use for other types of development. For all their economic growth and hi-tech aspirations, China and India certainly have better ways to spend billions of dollars than on a costly space race. Given the amount of distrust on both sides, though, folks like Wu and Goswami have their work cut out for them. But for this week, at least, we’re allowed to daydream.

Reader Comments

Suresh Kurapati

November 22, 2006 10:01 AM

Who knows 'DAYDREAMS' CAN be TRUE :-)


November 22, 2006 3:27 PM

It is refreshing to see something published to entertain the possibility of cooperation between India and China. I really hope this is not just a dream but turns into a reality. Hats off to Dr. Singh and Hu Jintao.



November 22, 2006 4:30 PM

It will be good if India and China can cooperate in Space. It will be even better if the International Space Station is really International one, not the US dominated one. Isn't it enough to have the US dominate the UN?

Robert W

November 23, 2006 3:09 AM

Conflicts usually go to unbalanced powers. If there are more powerful nations in the world, there will be more say on such important issues as the war in Iraq.
Hope they will hit it off from then on.


November 24, 2006 2:06 AM

Don't let business takeover politics

Capitalism has great fascination for everything except freedom and human rights as is abundantly shown in their dealings with China. Till now it was big American corporations such as Yahoo, Google and others toeing the China line to do business. Now it is Indian businessmen and professionals overlooking everything to hasten business with China. What about over 100,000 Tibetian refugees in India? While India makes lot of fuss about far away Palestine why it is silent on chinese occupation of Tibet and the continued repression of Tibetian people and their culture. It only proves that a businessman in hurry has no value for anything that is human.


November 24, 2006 7:36 AM

Why it is silent on Indian occupation of Kashmir. Why nobody pays attention to tens of million Islam refugees in Pakistan, because of successive repression of Islamic people in India


November 24, 2006 6:40 PM

It always seemed to me that, in those Star Trek movies, 1/4 of the faces should have been Indian and 1/4 should have been Chinese. Three or four centuries should have resulted in a demographically egalitarian society.


November 24, 2006 10:29 PM

Every country cannot adopt democracy right away. Democracy need time to be familiar. Just like iraq. Give democracy right away, it will throw the country into chaos. As the country become mature and wealthy. it will adopt democracy step by step. There is no shortcut to anything. Russia? with democracy? they also fall.

David Lee

November 25, 2006 2:39 AM

Prakash, what about Kashmir, where India refuses to let Islamic Kashmiris have independence or merger with Pakistan or Punjabi Singhs, where their fight for an Independent state was meet with the storming of their Golden Temple where all the freedom fighters were killed? Is democracy only for Indian Hindus and the upper Caste of India?


November 25, 2006 10:15 AM

Indeed, Tibet is a question mark on sino-indian and the world relations at large. India has not done it's bit in gicing residence in India to Tibet's political and religious leaders.

One should not blame India which has yet to grow and claim it's rightfull place in the future. It has done it's bit with Tibet.

What have the rich & major powers of the old world done? Great Britain, the U.S, France ? Anyone ? None at all!! They are busy eating five course meals with cheese and wine!! and.. indeed incraesing business with China!

So, don't blame India!! It has to grow richer and give bread, yes just bread without cheese & wine to millions of it's people.

The trade and relations with China is the way forward and certainly has more priority than some thousands of tibetans!


November 26, 2006 11:35 AM

the so called "rivalry" between India and China is only seen in English media in North America and (maybe) in India. China never regards India as a rivalry. Why can't two neighboring countries live in peace and seek prosperity together.

AC Johan

December 31, 2008 1:44 AM

According to this Tamil, democracy in india is only for the hindi majority.The nation we know today as India,has never existed before the conquest of the British over the indian sub-continent.

Tamil Nadu and many other minorities in today's india never really wanted to be a part of India but were brutally supressed one way or another by the hindi majority.
I suggest indians learn about history before commenting on human rights and self-rule.

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