Non-inherent – loopholes have been found in the current laws that ban cooperation in space
Eric Berger. “For the first time Chinese research to fly on NASA’s space station” Houston Chronical 8-3-15. Website. Accessed 6-26-16. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/For-the-first-time-Chinese-research-to-fly-on-6422696.php
A Houston company has negotiated a historic agreement to fly a Chinese experiment on the International Space Station, a small but symbolic maneuver around a law that bans any scientific cooperation between NASA and the communist country. Over a conference table adorned with an American and a Chinese flag, Jeff Manber last week agreed to take a DNA experiment into space next year. Manber's Houston-based company, NanoRacks, helps scientists do research on board the station. Because of decades of suspicion about Chinese motives and the country's regime, Congress prohibits NASA from working with the country in any capacity. But the new deal, which is apparently legal, could begin to change that. "It's symbolic, and it's meaningful," Manber said Monday, after returning from Beijing. "But let's not get ahead of ourselves." Chinese scientists from the Beijing Institute of Technology, led by Professor Deng Yulin, will pay about $200,000 to NanoRacks for its services. This includes delivery of the experiment to the American side of the station in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and a berth in NanoRacks' orbiting laboratory facilities. In turn the company will send data back to the Chinese researchers. Congress' prohibition was crafted in 2011 as an amendment by then U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf to block any scientific activity between the United States and China that involves NASA. He was concerned about the Chinese stealing U.S. spaceflight secrets, and about the country's human rights record. Manber said the deal is purely commercial, and was negotiated with NASA's blessing. Indeed, NASA administrator Charles Bolden has chafed at the Wolf amendment restrictions, arguing that his space agency should be allowed to at least communicate with Chinese space officials. "It won't happen under my watch, but some future NASA administrator will be sitting down and having a conversation with his or her Chinese counterpart," Bolden said in an earlier interview. It's unclear whether Republicans in Congress will attempt to block the NanoRacks deal. U.S. Rep. John Culberson, a Houston Republican who assumed Wolf's chairmanship of the House budget committee that oversees NASA, said he wanted to study it in more detail. However, one space policy expert familiar with the deal, Scott Pace of George Washington University, said he believes this agreement was crafted in such a way as to create minimal controversy. "It's hard to predict what Congress will do, but given this is a commercial arrangement with a U.S. company, complies with the Wolf amendment, and does not involve the transfer of sensitive technology, I don't believe there will be any formal objections," Pace said. Symbolically, flying Chinese research could signal the beginning of a potential relationship between the two countries in space, said Leroy Chiao, a former NASA astronaut and commander of the space station. "I think it is of critical importance that the U.S. bring China into future space exploration plans," Chiao said. "The ISS would be a great place to start."
China has already found a loophole in the Wolf amendment that allows them to work with the US*
Leonard David. “US-China space freeze may thaw with historic new experiment” space.com. 8-21-15. Website. Accessed 6-26-16
A Chinese experiment is being readied for launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) in what could be the forerunner of a larger space-cooperation agenda between the United States and China. NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that helps commercial companies make use of the space station, has signed a historic agreement with the Beijing Institute of Technology to fly Chinese DNA research to the orbiting outpost next year. No commercial Chinese payload has ever flown to the orbiting lab before. Space-policy experts said they viewed the agreement as a significant step in shaping possible future joint work by the two spacefaring nations. [Latest News About China's Space Program] Cooperation prohibited Over the past few years, the law has prohibited NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from cooperating with China on space activities. That prohibition was originally signed into NASA-funding appropriations bills by Republican Congressman Frank Wolf (Virginia), who chaired the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee before retiring last year. The final law that Wolf put in place — P.L. 113-235, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which is in effect today — states that no funds may be spent by NASA or OSTP to "develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement or execute a bilateral policy, program, order or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company unless such activities are specifically authorized by law after the date of enactment of this act." However, the new NanoRacks deal is a commercial arrangement, and experts consider it legal.
China is working with others
Current US laws have forced China to work with other nations in space
Kou Jie. “Experts say Sino-US space collaboration is likely to stay sci-fi” Globaltimes.cn. 5-26-16. Website. Accessed 6-27-16. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/985361.shtml
According to a law passed by the US Congress in 2011, NASA is prohibited from engaging in bilateral agreements and coordination with China, hosting Chinese visitors at its facilities or working with researchers affiliated to any Chinese government entity or enterprise. "China and the US had some space cooperation in the 1980s, but there was no substantial progress afterwards. Nowadays, even some ordinary academic conferences can be restrained [by the law]," Huang said. The law has frustrated not only Chinese scientists, but also their US counterparts. In 2013, NASA faced fierce backlash from US researchers after it cited the law and rejected applications from Chinese nationals who wanted to attend a conference at the agency's Ames Research Center in California on the grounds of national security. "Space cooperation between the US and China is still a sensitive topic. US law bans Chinese scientists from cooperating with NASA, but NASA personnel are also not allowed to enter Beijing's aerospace town while their European counterparts can," an insider told the Global Times. Aerospace City, one of the world's top aerospace centers, is in Beijing's northwestern outskirts. Tensions between the US and China have pushed the latter to find other partners, which has led to the development of relatively close relations with Russia and Europe on space cooperation in recent years. "China and Europe have been working together towards deeper space exploration cooperation as highlighted by joint projects such as Double Star, a satellite-based space mission conducted by the China National Space Administration and the European Space Agency, which has had a great deal of scientific achievements," Pang Zhihao, a Beijing-based aerospace expert, told the Global Times, adding that the two organizations have also cooperated in data exchange. China and Russia have also cooperated, mainly focusing on manned space flight including spacesuit technologies, Pang said, "From the perspective of science, mutual communication and cooperation on space technologies can help the two countries learn from each other and push mankind deeper in the space," Huang said, adding that ideology shouldn't hinder Sino-US cooperation.