Brazil ‘Not Shy’ About Working With China, US on Space Amid Tensions

Child Waves a Brazilian FlagInternationalIndiaAfricaCOLORADO SPRINGS (Sputnik) – Brazil will continue to work with both China and the United States on space matters, regardless of current tensions between Washington and Beijing, Brazilian Space Agency Coordinator for Satellites and Applications Rodrigo Leonardi told Sputnik. “We have several interactions on the commercial side. And regarding space, we have a program with China called CBERS – The China–Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program,” Leonardi said on the sidelines of the 38th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. “That’s 30 years old already, and we’re planning to continue working with them in that framework.” When asked whether it was difficult to manage these partnerships amid current tensions between Beijing and Washington, Leonardi stated, “not difficult at all.” “We are not shy about working with the US or the Chinese,” he said. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during his trip to China last week said Brazil cannot be prevented from developing cooperation with the Asian country. In a statement preceding the bilateral meeting, Lula said Brazil is committed to intensifying cooperation with China in science and technology, student exchanges, culture, climate change, clean energy and electric vehicles.

Tensions between the US and China over Taiwan escalated this week amid reports the US will supply the island with 400 anti-ship Harpoon missiles in a deal worth $1.17 billion. In February, China imposed sanctions on US defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for selling weapons to Taiwan. The new restrictions include bans on all exports or imports with the two companies.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan – a territory with its own elected government – maintains that it is an autonomous country, although stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.

Space Cooperation With Russia in BRICS Framework

Leonardi further told Sputnik that Brazil anticipates its collaboration with Russia on space matters within the framework of BRICS to only continue to mature.”We do have a space cooperation with Russia that is in the framework of the BRICS group. Of course, we continue to engage with our colleagues from Roscosmos in that framework,” Leonardi said. “BRICS is a vision for the future. It is a framework where now we’re putting our efforts in sharing experience and data products that can evolve in the future in having more mature cooperation together. So it’s a venue for us to explore.”Leonardi also said that Brazil was open to capacity building, exchanging students and professionals, and continuing the tradition of working with everyone in space.When asked whether the current tensions between the West and Moscow affect Brazil’s cooperation with Russia on space matters, Leonardi said: “The tensions affect everybody, I would say that’s not good for anyone.”AnalysisBrazil Finds Role as Ukraine Peace Broker Amid Lavrov’s Latin American TourYesterday, 17:39 GMTHe also expressed hope that peace might be found as soon as possible, so that Brazil may continue to work with everyone in space.Regarding the potential for Brazil to participate in Russia’s proposed space station, Leonardi said that it is a “bit too early” to discuss such a move.In October, Roscosmos Human Space Flight Programs Executive Director Sergei Krikalev said that Russia’s future space station will involve cooperation with other space agencies.BRICS unites the world’s largest developing economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. A number of other countries intend to join the economic bloc, including Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

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