After Tuesday’s meeting between Presidents Obama and Hu, the two countries issued a joint statement covering a wide range of issues, including one paragraph about space issues:
The United States and China look forward to expanding discussions on space science cooperation and starting a dialogue on human space flight and space exploration, based on the principles of transparency, reciprocity and mutual benefit. Both sides welcome reciprocal visits of the NASA Administrator and the appropriate Chinese counterpart in 2010.
Space also merited one sentence later, on security issues: “The two sides believed that the two countries have common interests in promoting the peaceful use of outer space and agree to take steps to enhance security in outer space.”
The former passage sounds similar to efforts in the last several years to start to develop greater cooperation between the two countries in space, including a 2006 visit to China by then-administrator Mike Griffin. Those cooperative efforts were hindered by the January 2007 Chinese ASAT test, which leads to the latter passage, although it’s not clear what might be involved in steps to “enhance security” in space.