According to Russian space officials, Chinese spaceships meet all safety requirements and could fly to the ISS.
"I think Chinese spaceships would play an important role as a backup for the Russian vessels Soyuz and Progress in case of some unforeseen situations," said Anatoli Perminov, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, recently.
Perminov also repeated an earlier claim that five space agencies currently involved in running the ISS had invited China to become involved and were awaiting a reply on this proposal.
NASA has however issued a statement saying that China has not been formally asked to join the 15-nation program, but that ‘discussions were taking place about joint space efforts’.
Could it not be time to put aside the old rivalries and distrust and to globalize space research and travel?