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美国航空航天局证实决定解除禁止中国出席会议的禁令

US space agency NASA confirmed Tuesday that it has "corrected" a decision to ban six Chinese researchers from attending a conference on exoplanet research next month.

"Yes, the scientists of Chinese origin who initially were excluded from applying to attend the Kepler Science Conference at the NASA's Ames Research Center next month now are able to apply," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said.

In an email to Xinhua, Beutel said the initial decision was " unfortunate" and based on "a misinterpretation" of the agency's policy related to foreign nationals' access to NASA facilities.

"The interpretation was clarified and the decision corrected once the federal government reopened last Thursday," he said.

One of the six Chinese researchers who are originally banned from attending the NASA conference told Xinhua Tuesday he has got security clearance from the space agency.

"Yes, everything is cleared," said the researcher, who refused to be named. "I'll be there (the Kepler conference)."

Before it, NASA sent the six Chinese researchers a letter informing them that their applications for the conference were " being reviewed for clearance."

"We ... are pleased to inform you that this decision has been reversed," the letter said. "We hope you will be able to join us and celebrate the science enabled by Kepler."

At present, it's not immediately known if all of the initially banned Chinese researchers are allowed to attend the Kepler Science Conference, which is scheduled for November at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.

The ban, based on a controversial law passed in 2011 that prohibits government funds from being used to host Chinese nationals at NASA facilities, sparked a boycott of the meeting from several prominent American scientists, including Professor Debra Fischer of Yale University, and Professor Geoff Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley.

Gregory Kulacki, a senior analyst with the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program, believed that recent problems arising from the ban should be served as a wake-up call for "a few individuals within the United States Congress, in particular Congressman Frank Wolf," who crafted the law.

Kulacki said the language of the law is "so broad, and the legal and financial penalties associated with potential violations so threatening, that even US organizations not directly administered by NASA are afraid to reach out to colleagues in China."

He warned that until the legislation is removed, these kinds of incidents will "remain a constant feature" of US-China relations in space.

简明释义:美国航天机构美国国家航空航天局说,已经解除了一项有争议的禁止中国科学家参加下个月在加利福尼亚州举行的一个科学会议的禁令。美国航空航天局星期一在发给************************************的一份电子邮件中说,“起先不被允许申请参加下个月在美国国家航空航天局埃姆斯研究中心举行的开普勒科学会议的中国籍科学家,现在可以申请了。”美国国家航空航天局说,最初做出禁止中国科学家参加会议的决定是“不幸的”,是出于对政府政策的“错误理解”。

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