This was the response of Bernard Foing, a French professor and the chief European Space Agency (ESA) scientist for numerous lunar missions. Dr. Foing was responding to a question from EIR at a panel on "Moon South Pole & Human Missions: Giant Steps into the Galaxy." EIR's Bill Jones had asked the panel why the Chinese always point to the presence of Helium-3 as a resource for future fusion reactors, while from NASA and many Western researchers there was simply silence or even confusion on the issue. While the question was directed to the entire panel, Dr. Foing chose to respond.
"The Chinese have a long-term view on their lunar exploration. They think in terms of the next 100 years. Obviously, if you can collect thousands of tons of Helium-3 on the Moon and transport it to Earth as a source of fuel in reactors, this would be a great boon to mankind."
But the project is long-term. They must first develop their lander capable of bringing human beings back to the Moon, begin planning a lunar base, develop the equipment for mining the resources, and put in place a system for transporting the material back to Earth. A long-term project. But this is the way they are thinking about their program.