Brazil boldly affirms working with China, US on space amid tensions
Brazil underlines that it is working with both China and the United States on its space program in light of the ongoing tensions between both powers.
Despite the present tensions between Washington and Beijing, Brazil will continue to cooperate with both China and the United States on space issues, Brazilian Space Agency Coordinator for Satellites and Applications Rodrigo Leonardi told the Russian news agency, Sputnik, on Thursday.
"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."
Asked whether such partnerships were difficult to maintain in light of surging tensions between Washington and Beijing, the Brazilian official underlined that there was no difficulty whatsoever. It is "not difficult at all," he said.
According to Leonardi, Brazil expects its BRICS-based cooperation with Russia on space issues to advance.
"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 on the sidelines of the 38th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
"BRICS is a vision for the future. It is a framework where now we're putting our efforts in sharing experiences 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 added that Brazil was ready to develop its capacity, exchange professionals and students, and carry on the custom of cooperating with all parties in space.
"The tensions affect everyone, I would say that's not good for anyone," Leonardi said in response to the question of whether the current hostilities between the West and Moscow affect Brazil's cooperation with Russia on space issues.
In order for Brazil to continue cooperating with everyone in space, he also voiced the desire that peace would come about as soon as possible.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during his trip to China last week said Brazil could be prevented from developing cooperation with the Asian country.
Brazil is dedicated to stepping up its collaboration with China in areas such as sustainable energy, electric cars, student exchanges, culture, and science and technology, Lula said in a press statement ahead of his bilateral meeting.
"Yesterday we visited Huawei. It is a demonstration that we want to tell the world that we have no prejudices in relations with our Chinese counterparts. No one will prohibit Brazil to improve relations with China," Lula said at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Moreover, the disputes between China and the United States have also reached the technological and aviation sectors, with Beijing extending sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and prohibiting domestic companies from doing business with the US military giants.
China sanctioned the two companies in February 2022 for a $100 million arms sale to Taiwan.
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies were placed on an "unreliable enterprises list" over arms sales to Taiwan in February 2023.
The laws introduced then forbid Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile and Defense Corporation, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, from "participating in import and export activities connected to China."
Beijing has repeatedly urged the US to stop selling armaments to Taiwan and cut its military ties with the island. However, the US expanded its weapons sales to the island in a clear provocation to Beijing's "one China" policy.
In response to repeated hostile measures by Taiwan and the US, the latest of which was a meeting between Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on April 5 in California, Beijing launched last week a 3-day military exercise dubbed "United Sharp Sword" where Chinese jets and warships reportedly simulated strikes on Taiwan on the second day of the military drills.