12:12 GMT13 August 2020
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    Deeper mutual trust between China and Russia will ensure smooth cooperation on joint space exploration, which has clear military use and will also benefit both countries' aeronautic and space undertakings, experts said.

    China and Russia plan to sign an agreement in October on joint space exploration from 2018 and 2022, which would benefit both nations particularly in manned and future missions to the moon, CGTN reported on Monday.

    The bilateral agreement will cover five areas including lunar to deep space exploration, special materials development, collaborations in the area of satellite systems, Earth remote sensing, and space debris research.

    "China's and Russia's respective cooperation with some Western countries in aerospace sometimes is hindered by trust issue as aeronautic and space developments are closely related to military fields," Wang Ya'nan, deputy editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

    The joint space exploration between China and Russia would be easier as the two shared deeper mutual trust, Wang noted

    The October agreement between China and Russia will be the first to cover a partnership spanning five years, a period that allows for more ambitious plans and goals to be achieved, CGTN said.

    Wang said that China and Russia need each other to extend space exploration.

    "Russia's space industry has faced various problems, especially brain drain and shortage of funds after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And its role in the development of international space station has become replaceable," Wang said.

    China, which faces difficulties in cooperating with some Western countries, hopes to have deeper cooperation with Russia, Wang said, adding that "Russia could offer previous experience and aeronautic infrastructure and China could contribute new ideas and needed resources, which would also avoid overlapping investment on same projects."

    According to a report on the news site, thepaper.cn, there are some difficulties, including intellectual property that may hinder he cooperation.

    If the cooperation has not cover carrier rockets and China's space station, it would not be called a "deeper cooperation," read the report.

    However, Russian experts remained optimistic about the bilateral cooperation and said that, with the joint efforts, China and Russia could get ahead of NASA on aerospace development, thepaper.cn reported.

    Wang said that China-Russia joint space exploration may also be different from the US and Western countries as the projects may attach importance to converting aeronautic technologies into practical applications to drive economic development.

    Glavkosmos, a Russia-based space launch operator who is the coordinator and the contractor for a part of work in the program covered by the October agreement, said that it is working with Chinese commercial partners on holding experiments aboard the International Space Station and providing the data of the Earth's remote sensing from Russian satellites, Russian media reported on August 3.

    Glavkosmos declined to comment when reached by the Global Times on Tuesday.

    This article, written by Liu Xin, was originally published in the Global Times.


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