China's space program: phantom menace or new hope?, GlobalTimes.cn
"It's the silly season in the US. So it's no surprise, just a disappointment, that some of the US legislators, especially the Republicans set to retake Congress, are again sharpening their sword and sticking it to China. I'm not talking about exchange rates, jobs, the environment or human rights, but something more deadly serious: the future of the final frontier. It's Star Wars season in Washington and the US empire is striking back. This silliness is only eclipsed by the stupidity of timing the visit this week to China of former astronaut and now National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) head, Charlie Bolden so close to election day. The visit was reportedly agreed by Chinese Presidents Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama when they met last November, but I can't believe that the visit had to be scheduled at a time that provides a clear opportunity for China-bashers in the US."
Three-legged space race for China and US?, Shangaiist
"That being said, space analyst, Morris Jones comments that nothing too exciting is going to be happening at these meetings. "Bolden is there basically just to shake a few hands. It's the first step in a very long process to get co-operation between the US and China in space flight... [r]elations between the US and China are very bad at the moment for all sorts of political and economic reasons." You don't say. Could it have to do with China callling the US a preening pig?"
Keith's note: While the semi- and quasi-official media in China attempt to spin an/or dissect the political undertones of Bolden's visit, NASA is utterly inert when it comes to any news whatsoever regarding Bolden's activities in China. No travel itineraries, no speech transcripts, photos - nothing. Its as if, once again, he has gone into overseas stealth mode.
Keith's update: According to Lori Garver Bolden is on his way home. Still no news.