The Chinese authorities can claim their rights to the territory on the Moon if they take a leading position in the new space race with the United States. This fear was expressed by the head of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Bill Nelson in an interview with Politico newspaper, reports TASS.

He believes that the United States has entered into a space race with China. If the PRC comes out of the competition as the winner, it can claim ownership of vast areas of the Moon. The head of NASA indicated that China would want to take the richest areas of the lunar surface for itself if it landed there first.

“We’d better take care that they don’t get to some place on the moon under the guise of scientific research,” Nelson said, adding that China may well declare the landing territory of a scientific expedition on the Moon “its own.”

The head of NASA recalled the situation with disputed islands in the South China Sea and pointed out that nothing prevents China from doing the same. Nelson is confident that the United States will send its astronauts to the moon in 2025. He is concerned about the high pace of China’s preparations for the landing on the satellite: over the past ten years, the country has made significant progress in this direction.

At the same time, Beijing denies such statements regarding China’s space activities.