Beijing's bid to work with New Delhi to explore the Moon could strengthen bilateral relations and promote an international initiative to counter Washington's unilateral space ambitions, RT analysts said.
India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, was fired by the Sriharikota Space Station on Monday. After the successful launch, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chungying announced that Beijing is ready to work with India and other countries to explore space.
China's own mission, the Chang'e-4, successfully reached the far side of the moon in Beijing January. Chungying believes that joint work would promote a "shared mission of humanity" which aims to learn more about the moon and beyond.
The bid could be a way for Beijing to rebuild relations with New Delhi and prevent Washington from securing a monopoly on the moon or in space in general.
The preparation of joint missions in space is a "very complicated" endeavor, said Drs. Kai-Uwe Schrogl, President of the International Institute for Space Law, opposite RT. In this respect, the Chinese offer is more of a diplomatic overture than a concrete, ready-to-implement proposal. However, this does not rule out that the two nations will work together in space in the future.
"When your relationships are strained, look for areas that are open to cooperation. One is culture, the other is science, "said Schrogl. "I consider it a logical departure from China, if they want to have better relations with India, to propose activities in these areas."
Dr. Ram S. Jakhu, a professor of international space law at McGill University, thought similarly, noting that the invitation "could or should eventually lead to joint ventures."
Against the US in space?
The exchange of technology and cooperation in space could also be an opportunity to compete with the US plans for dominance in space.
"Both China and India may be interested in working together to prevent the US from intending to travel to the moon very soon. The US wants to build a lunar base from which to exclude others, "said Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
"India probably recognizes that its future is due to cooperation with a growing China and does not get better with a declining US market. This reality could well ensure that both nations decide that they are better off working together. "
International space cooperation is important to stave off the militarization of the cosmos. He cited the United Nations Space Treaty and the Moon Treaty, which states that "Planetary bodies are the province of all humanity."
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