NASA Administrator Bill Nelson warns that China may claim the Moon as one of its territories.
In an interview with POLITICO, published on Sunday, the NASA chief says he and several members of the space agency are increasingly about China's plans when they go to the moon.
“It is a fact: we are in a race for space. And it is true that we must be careful that they do not obtain a place on the Moon under the pretext of scientific research. And it is not excluded that they say: "stay away, we are here, this is our territory", "he said in the interview.
Bill Nelson cites the communist country's military expansion in the South China Sea as an example.
“If you have any doubts, look at what they did with the Spratly Islands,” says the NASA administrator.
The American and Chinese space programs are working hard to get to the Moon in the next few years.
In November, NASA flew the Orion spacecraft around the Moon as part of the Artemis 1 mission.
The space agency plans to send astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2025.
China, for its part, has completed construction of the new Tiangong space station and sent three astronauts there in November.
The country plans to send three missions to the Moon in the coming decades. China claims to have discovered a new lunar mineral that could be used as an energy source.