19:30 GMT04 July 2020
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    Russia and China began talks on expanding cooperation in the space industry last year, a senior Russian space corporation official and chairman of the Eurasian partnership Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Youth Council told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The joint Russian-Chinese talks entailed implementing joint projects in the field, as well as the willingness to synchronize mutual hardware platforms and technological interfaces.

    "The Chinese side expresses interest in collaborating to create manned Lunar exploration infrastructure," Denis Kravchenko, deputy general director of the United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), said.

    Plans to set up an aerospace alliance to conduct joint manned space missions, including to the Moon, emerged late last month. In April, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced plans to create a permanent manned Lunar station in collaboration with China.

    "China is willing to develop cooperation in engine building [and] urges to consider the idea of setting up joint production. We are more interested in commercialization. We intend to sell engines," Kravchenko told Sputnik.

    Increased Russian-Chinese cooperation in space research coincides with the United States' increasing concern over the vulnerability of its space assets.

    US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said last Tuesday space must now be considered "contested operational domain" in the "unlikely event we should have a clash of arms." To centralize US space awareness, intelligence and warning capabilities, Work announced the launch of an interagency Space Operation Center in the next six months.

    The Eurasian political, economic and military Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with Russia and China as its founding members, came out with a joint declaration last year opposing an arms race in space.


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