The UAE and China had recently entered into an agreement according to which the UAE’s Rashid-II rover was to fly on China’s Chang’e-7 lunar lander. The memorandum of Understanding was signed in September 2022 and ever since the arrangements for the mission were underway.
However, the said mission has been gravely impacted by the US’s International in Traffic Arms Regulations. Some recent amendments have been introduced to these export control rules due to which the agreement between the UAE and China is in troubled waters for the time being.
The sustenance and continuity of the agreement are in question as nothing has been officially confirmed by both countries. However, if the agreement ends, it would be a major blow to China’s efforts to expand its footprint in the domain of lunar exploration plans.
The new rules prohibit the exchange of certain technologies between the countries which are very strategic to this partnership. This development will certainly impact the bilateral partnerships between various countries.
The new rules limit China’s potential to access the global market
The International Traffic in Arms Regulations prohibits the sale and export of certain defensive technologies, components, spare parts, and most importantly software. It aims to reduce the availability of the components and the software made by the United States of America to the global markets.
According to the Intelligence agencies, these components are very sensitive and hence, their accessibility should be curtailed. Until now, China had been dealing with these software, components, and technologies without any limitations. The imposition of these restrictions has hindered the cooperation between China and the UAE.
China has been investing all its efforts to construct an International Lunar Research Center so far. It has been collaborating with various international partners to offer launch services and ground support.
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The research teams have been working to provide turnkey solutions to developed and developing nations so far. In a recent disclosure by a few Chinese officials, it was revealed that China has also begun expanding the landing sites to Shackleton center at the lunar south pole. China has sought all the requisite approvals fro NASA so far as well.
The new rules propounded by the United States of America are definitely expected to destroy the Chinese efforts so far. According to the new rules, China would no longer be able to import technology for lunar exploration programs.
As a result, all the existing agreements would end. The collaboration between China and Europe had already ended due to these changes. However, the UAE and China have not yet confirmed if the agreement would end or not.
But if it does, then China would have to bear the brunt of an additional 10 kilograms of payload that was meant to be deployed on the Chang’e-7 lander. It would also hamper the future partnerships of the country and the economic development which was meant to take place owing to this development.