He cited a history of Chinese efforts to steal U.S. technology
“We have guarded our nation’s secrets,” Mr. Bolden said.
At such a “critical time for the nation’s space exploration plans,” Mr. Bolden added, “having the flexibility to enter into these partnerships [with other countries, including China] has been key” to U.S. leadership in space.
Bipartisan support for cooperation with China “has spanned many administrations,” he said.
“I believe that some level of cooperation with China … can be … in the best interests of both nations,” he said.
He said the Innovation Dialogue with Beijing - one of the initiatives under fire - had helped “roll back aspects of Chinese innovation policy that discriminated against American businesses.”
“American businesses are very grateful,” Mr. Holdren said.
He added that cooperation on disease and other biological reporting issues had “enhanced our capability to deal with infectious diseases” and invasive pests originating in China.