That is what I said. If the decision was not political then what was it about?I don't think it has anything to to with politics at all (Russia is there), nor racial (Japan is there). It is IMO simply competition motivated to hinder anyone to overtake in a race. China is the only one who has that potential (money and forward speed). One can say this competition is also kind of politics, but certainly not the kind of politic of ideology.
The Russians collaboration with US has a long history stretching back to the 1990s when they are more advanced and capable in producing, launching and operating a space-station long before ISS, but also short of money to keep going. US wanted and needed Russian tech while Russia want a job, that's all. Then STS retired, US has to hitchhike on Russian Soyuz to visit ISS, and the RD180 engines to this day. Most importantly we have Boris Yeltsin who really thought the west would embrace a westernized Russia.
The collaboration goes back to the 1970s with the docking of the Soyuz and Apollo spacecraft at around the time of the cold war.
The U.S. had no qualms of cooperating with the Soviets during the cold war and at a time when the U.S. was supposed to have surpassed the Soviets in the space race to the moon, but the U.S. felt the need to block the Chinese scientists from attending a space exploration conference?
Edit: Just saw Taxiya's post before this. That post should come after this post in a normal flow of discussion but of course, I can't edit that.