MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will strengthen cooperation with China by supplying its rocket engines to the Asian country, Hu Bin, counselor of the Department of Treaty and Law at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Sputnik on Tuesday.
"I think it is a good idea, because that idea can be put into the framework of cooperation on space exploration," Hu said on the sidelines of the first UN Conference on Space Law and Policy.
Hu stated that cooperation between Russia and China must be extended into aspects concerning space.
"China and Russia are very good friends, and all cooperation, bilateral cooperation should extend to space. We take it as a very good initiative," Hu said.
The official added that space cooperation between Russia and China could comprise research and engineering.
"Another frontier is bilateral cooperation on engineering aspects, for example, rocket engines, as you mentioned, and research … not only on scientific and technical issues, but on legal issues as well," Hu said.
US Participation in Multilateral Space Arms Control Treaty
The official went on speaking about the US participation in a multilateral treaty on space arms control.
"Of course the United States should be in [the treaty], it would be better if the United States is in because the United States is a very powerful space-faring country. We need US participation, that is why China tries to accommodate the concerns [of other countries]," Hu said on the sidelines of the first UN Conference on Space Law and Policy, asked whether such an agreement would be effective without US participation.
Hu added that in order to persuade the United States to join the treaty, it would be necessary to discuss a common interest. According to the Chinese official, even if the United States refuses to join the initiative, other countries will still have an international legal framework to regulate the use of arms in space.
"In the worst case scenario, if the United States insists on non-participation, I think the rest of international society do have the possibility to have a legal instrument to save the environment of space," Hu said.
On August 28, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called for the adoption of a multilateral agreement for the control over arms in space to ensure peace and security. The call came after Washington revealed plans to reassert "leadership in space" by ensuring US military supremacy with a Space Force as a separate branch of the military.