China swipes at NASA after moon takeover 'smear campaign'

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China swipes at NASA after moon takeover 'smear campaign'

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles! China denied a warning from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson that China might act to "take over" the mo

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China denied a warning from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson that China might act to “take over” the moon. 

On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that this is “not the first time” NASA and Nelson have “ignored the facts and spoken irresponsibly about China.”

“The U.S. side has constantly constructed a smear campaign against China’s normal and reasonable outer space endeavors, and China firmly opposes such irresponsible remarks,” he told reporters. 

In an interview with German newspaper Bild published on Saturday, Nelson expressed his worry regarding China’s ambitions in space. 

NASA TESTING OUT NEW LUNAR ORBIT

“We must be very concerned that China is landing on the moon and saying: ‘It’s ours now and you stay out’,” he said. 

FILE PHOTO: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson speaks prior to the launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule to the International Space Station in a do-over test flight at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, July 29, 2021. 

FILE PHOTO: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson speaks prior to the launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule to the International Space Station in a do-over test flight at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, July 29, 2021. 
(REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo)

China made its first uncrewed lunar landing in 2013.

Nelson said the country’s space program had stolen technology and was linked to its military. 

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
(AP Photo/Liu Zheng)

However, Zhao asserted that China has always opposed any arms race in space and promoted the building of a shared future for humanity. 

China is currently working on its own space station, called Tiangong. It also is planning uncrewed missions to the moon’s south pole. 

Under the Artemis program, NASA plans to send a crewed mission to land on the moon in coming years. 

A full moon known as the "Strawberry Moon" is shown with NASA’s next-generation moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis 1, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, June 15, 2022. 

A full moon known as the “Strawberry Moon” is shown with NASA’s next-generation moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis 1, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, June 15, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

The crew will include the first woman and the first person of color, utilizing “innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.”

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The agency aims to establish the first long-term presence on the moon, collaborating with other international partners. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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