China, Russia release roadmap for building lunar space station as Joe Biden, Putin meet in Geneva

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As US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held their first face-to-face summit in Geneva on Wednesday, China and Russia reaffirmed their close ties by releasing a roadmap for building a lunar space station.

President Biden and his Russian counterpart Putin shook hands after arriving for the crucial summit on Wednesday, as relations between the two nations have plummeted to post-Cold War lows.

The Biden-Putin summit is being viewed in Beijing as an attempt to create a wedge between China and Russia and break their close cooperative partnership.

In the latest show of the determination and confidence of China-Russia cooperation in the field of lunar and deeper-space exploration, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and its Russian counterpart jointly released the International Lunar Research Station Roadmap and Guide for Partnership, the state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday.

Such a roadmap and guide for the partnership were released during the Global Network Forum, it said.

It also came on the day Putin and Biden shook hands during their summit at the Villa la Grange in Geneva on Wednesday.

Russian space agency Roscosmos said in March this year that it had signed an agreement with China’s National Space Administration to develop research facilities on the surface of the moon, in orbit or both.

A statement from both countries’ space agencies says it will be available for use by other nations.

The International Scientific Lunar Station will carry out a wide range of scientific research including exploration and utilisation of the moon, the statement from both agencies said.

In his interview with NBC TV on Monday ahead of his summit with Biden, Putin denounced actions aimed at driving a wedge between Moscow and Beijing, stressing that China is a strategic partner, not a threat.

“We can see attempts to destroy the relationship between Russia and China. We can see that those attempts are being made in practical policies,” Putin said.

“We are pleased with the unprecedentedly high level of our relationship as it has evolved over the last few decades. We cherish it just like our Chinese friends do, which we can see,” China’s state-run CGTN-TV quoted him as saying.

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