China denies U.S. accusation of spying space technology

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) — China denied Friday a U.S. accusation that the progress China has made in space exploration should be partially attributed to espionage.

“China deeply regrets the relevant report from the U.S. administration, and is firmly against the groundless accusation made against China,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a press briefing.

The Wednesday report, jointly prepared by the U.S. defense and state departments, recommended loosening U.S. export controls on items used to build satellites and other relevant equipment.

However, it suggested maintaining or tightening controls on exports to particular countries like China and Iran, and accused China of spying space technology.

“The report mistakenly insisted on the two-decade-old satellite export restrictions against China, which was against the consensus reached between the two heads of state on enhancing space cooperation,” Liu said.

The achievements made in China’s space programs should be attributed to the hard pioneering work, innovation and diligence of the Chinese people, he said.

“Any restriction, imputation or defamation against China’s cause of space exploration will end in vain,” Liu said.

He stressed that China would stick to peaceful development, constantly improve its capabilities in the peaceful use of outer space and carry out space cooperation with other countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.