This is some interesting news. The Russian lunar programme will basically go bankrupt if the Chinese pull their funding. It may cost China a few more years, but the current Russia is too toxic– even to China. Iirc ESA and CNSA has some cooperations, and this could be Beijing’s concern.
Edit: it’s CNSA, not CASA
>”If we are talking about the southern or eastern directions, unfortunately, I can directly say that our Chinese scientific colleagues also paused, and over the past month we have not been able to enter into such serious discussions, despite the fact that we had a wonderfully built cooperation with regular communication,” Sergeev said.”
Not aligned with the central government but perhaps seeing that being too close to Russia is a major risk as Europe and the west in general has exploded over the Russian invasion.
We can easily read too much into this, it may simply be risk aversion. Or it could be not wanting to be on the wrong side of a global split with Russia, the DPRK and Iran on the one side and everyone relevant on the other.
Pretty sure the Chinese government has not instructed to halt science cooperation with Russia…so saying ‘China’ is halting science cooperations is a little far fetched.
But some Chinese academic institutions might have instructed their members to not continue scheduled projects.
Outwardly intense cooperation with Russian institutions might result in counter actions by Western instititions which none of the Chinese academic institutions want. Imagine their members getting barred from conferences in the West because they chose to attend Russian projects.
Laying low until the dust has settled and everyone is clearer about what paths to take is probably what they are doing.
But certain institutions and companies that are already sanctioned (by the US for example especially in the space sector) will probably just continue. They are already barred from cooperating with the West anyways.
Ah yes, but now they have Belarus, so watch out, NASA.
Probably just putting on a show for the west while still tacitly supporting Russia. All the Chinese state media folks are still all over RT.