BEIJING, April 20 (UPI) -- Chinese officials have denied U.S. accusations that China's progress in space exploration is partly owed to espionage.
A report Wednesday by the U.S. Defense and State departments recommended loosening U.S. export controls on items used to build satellites and other relevant equipment but suggested maintaining or tightening controls on exports to particular countries such as China and Iran, and accused China of stealing space technology.
"China deeply regrets the relevant report from the U.S. administration, and is firmly against the groundless accusation made against China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told China's state-run news agency Xinhua.
"The report mistakenly insisted on the two-decade-old satellite export restrictions against China, which was against the consensus reached between the two heads of state on enhancing space cooperation," Liu said.
China's achievements in space exploration are the result of hard pioneering work, innovation and diligence of the Chinese people, he said.