China: October 2013 Archives

NASA OIG Report: Bo Jiang's Access to NASA's Langley Research Center

"On March 16, 2013, agents from the Department of Homeland Security conducted a border search of former NASA contractor Bo Jiang at Dulles International Airport as part of an investigation of potential export control violations. Jiang, a citizen of the Peoples Republic of China, was preparing to fly home to China. After questioning him about what electronic media he had in his possession and searching his belongings, agents took Jiang into custody and charged him with making a false statement to Federal authorities."

- Attn Frank Wolf: Bo Jiang Had Porn - Not Secrets - on His Laptop, earlier post
- Congress Vs NASA on China (Home Alone with Wolf and Bolden), earlier post

Earlier China posts

Is the US Yielding Spaceflight Leadership to China?, Op-Ed, Leroy Chiao,

"China is inviting international partners to work with them on their space station. They want international research, and they want to fly international astronauts. Many of the United States' ISS partners (at least eight space agencies have talked to the Chinese about partnering and cooperation) are finding a more attractive alternative with China, or at least hedging their bets. Who can blame them? Working with China would be much less expensive than continuing with ISS. This sets up the perfect baton pass. America, already on the decline after the retirement of the space shuttle (now only Russia and China can launch astronauts into space), will on the way down hand over the leadership position of human spaceflight to the Chinese."

Earlier posts on China

Keith's note: The following is being sent out by the Kepler SciCon organizers:

"We have just learned that the efforts of NASA's Ames Research Center to ensure that our Chinese astronomer colleagues will be able to attend the Second Kepler Science Conference have been halted by the fact these approvals must be entered into a computer system at NASA HQ in Washington DC. Because of the ongoing federal government shutdown, there is no one at NASA HQ who can complete the approval process. Of course, if the federal shutdown continues much longer, the conference will not be able to begin as scheduled on November 3, 2013. We fear that the meeting may have to be cancelled as a result, or delayed. The ability of scientists to attend an open scientific meeting about the spectacular results produced by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope is another likely fatality of the failure of the U.S. Congress to enact a federal budget for FY2014. Alan Boss, SOC Co-Chair, KSC II"

Keith's note: As I understand the situation all of the final arrangements for this meeting - including the processing of all foreign visitors (not just Chinese) - can only happen if the government is open. If the government does not open in time then there's a chance that the meeting simply will not happen. And of course, Frank Wolf voted for the shutdown ...

- Confusion Over NASA's Policies That Ban Certain People, earlier post
- Frank Wolf Dumps on NASA For Doing What He Told Them To Do, earlier post
- Astronomers Dump on NASA About China When Congress Is To Blame, earlier post

Email From NASA Administrator Bolden Regarding Chinese Attendance at NASA Meeting

"It is unfortunate that potential Chinese participants were refused attendance at the upcoming Kepler Conference at the Ames Research Park. Mid-level managers at Ames, in performing the due diligence they believed appropriate following a period of significant concern and scrutiny from Congress about our foreign access to NASA facilities, meetings and websites, acted without consulting NASA HQ. Upon learning of this exclusion, I directed that we review the requests for attendance from scientists of Chinese origin and determine if we can recontact them immediately upon the reopening of the government to allow them to reapply. Any of them applying and meeting the clearance requirements in place for foreign citizens will be accepted for participation in the Conference."

Why Has NASA Banned Access to its Partner Saudi Arabia?, (2013), earlier post

"Bolden: "I have ordered a moratorium on granting any new access to NASA facilities to individuals from specific designated countries. Specifically: China, Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. While this review is on going I have also ordered that any remote computer access to NASA resources be terminated for those from the same specific designated countries."

Wolf Letter to NASA's Bolden Correcting Record on Restrictions Involving Chinese Nationals

"I believe what Mr. Messersmith may have been referring to was a temporary restriction on Chinese nationals that you put in place earlier this year after serious security protocol flaws were brought to your attention by some in Congress, including me, specifically regarding violations at Ames and Langley Research Center. You indicated at the time that security policies for foreign nationals for particular countries of concern would be reevaluated and new accreditations would not be approved until the security process was vetted. However, any restriction against Chinese nationals on NASA centers is entirely an agency policy and not covered under the statutory restriction. Furthermore, it was my understanding that NASA's temporary restrictions had been lifted after a review of security protocols for foreign nationals at all NASA centers."

Keith's note: It certainly looks like Wolf and Bolden don't keep each other updated about trivial little things such as banning "individuals from specific designated countries". No mention of "government" affiliation as being a factor. So what do NASA people do? They follow what their management told them to do. Looks like the people in a position to make the routine decisions on this issue are the last ones to know what the rules actually are.

- Frank Wolf Dumps on NASA For Doing What He Told Them To Do, earlier post

NASA ban on Chinese scientists 'inaccurate': lawmaker (Update), PhysOrg

"However, Wolf's office issued a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Tuesday seeking to correct an article on the matter that first appeared Friday in The Guardian newspaper, as well as NASA's stance. "Unfortunately, the article is riddled with inaccuracies, as is, it appears, the guidance provided by NASA Ames staff to the attendees," said the letter. The law "primarily restricts bilateral, not multilateral, meetings and activities with the Communist Chinese government or Chinese-owned companies," it said. "It places no restrictions on activities involving individual Chinese nationals unless those nationals are acting as official representatives of the Chinese government." Wolf said NASA officials may have believed that the move was needed because of extra temporary restrictions on foreign nationals after a potential security breach by a Chinese citizen at a NASA facility in Virginia earlier this year."

Second Kepler Science Conference Statement from the Science Organizing Committee

"In late March, 2013, NASA, in response to Federal legislation, imposed a moratorium on visits to NASA facilities by citizens of several nations, including China. The legislation in question was initially crafted by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) to reflect national security concerns, with further modifications and restrictions added to the 2013 bill. The Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) of the Second Kepler Science Conference (KSC2) learned about this moratorium in late September, as the final agenda was being constructed, when 6 of our Chinese colleagues who preregistered for the KSC2 had their registrations denied."

Keith's note: Given the relentless investigations, letters, and outright nasty badgering that Rep. Wolf has given NASA over this issue, it is small wonder that the agency made this decision. After all, Rep. Wolf had already ordered investigations into previous Chinese participation in NASA meetings and ordered NASA to do overhauls of various online servers and facility access procedures after a Chinese national was found with porn on his laptop. Now Wolf sends NASA a letter criticizing the agency for taking his rants and demands seriously. Its hard to figure out just what this guy does or does not want NASA to do.

In his letter to Bolden - supposedly sent about this meeting and Chinese nationals - Wolf veers from one topic to another - and does a copy/paste of text from earlier rants - clearly demonstrating that he has a vendetta against NASA - and Ames staff in particular. He will use whatever happens to be on his desk or in his waste basket to throw at them with the hope that something will stick.

Wolf Letter to NASA's Bolden Correcting Record on Restrictions Involving Chinese Nationals

"In one troubling example, last month, The Wall Street Journal reported on a Space Act Agreement between Ames and Google's executives to use taxpayer-subsidized airplane fuel intended for military aircraft for personal travel by Google's leadership. A dubious scientific data collection scheme appears to have been developed as an excuse for this preferential treatment for these executives."

- Astronomers Dump on NASA About China When Congress Is To Blame, earlier post
- Attn Frank Wolf: Bo Jiang Had Porn - Not Secrets - on His Laptop, earlier post
- Wolf Addresses Arrest at Dulles Airport of Chinese National Potentially Involved in NASA Langely Security Violations, earlier post
- Congress Vs NASA on China (Home Alone with Wolf and Bolden), earlier post
- Bad Research By Rep. Wolf's Staff
- Wolf to Bolden: Disinvite Those Chinese Visitors, earlier post
- Rep. Wolf's China Witch Hunt Resumes (Update), earlier post

US and China partner on small-scale space projects, South China Morning Post

"Bai expressed gratitude for US help on China's space programmes. Nasa, for instance, provided "enormous help" with the construction of satellite ground stations for remote sensing, he was quoted by the statement as saying. Bai said the two sides were co-operating on space geodesy, which dealt with the three-dimensional measurement of the earth. The co-operation had been going on for years and has produced encouraging results. China hoped the collaboration could continue. .. Bolden said Nasa was "highly serious" about working with the Chinese. He wished for more co-operation in fields such as space-to-earth observation. Representatives with several academy institutes, such as National Space Centre and Shanghai Astronomical Observation Centre, had attended the event. Neither Nasa nor the agency responded to the Post's inquiries about the meeting."

Earlier China posts



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This page is an archive of entries in the China category from October 2013.

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