Yeah, that whole sequence was unnecessary. But there's something even worse.
There's no way they could travel by jetpack to the Chinese space station. The distance is just too far...even a shuttle couldn't make it. The reason is that all that hardware circling the earth occupies different orbits, deliberately, to avoid collisions. Everything is traveling at different speeds (the closer to earth, the tighter the orbit and the faster the speed). Some orbits are elliptical, some not. Garrett Reisman (who's done a few spacewalks himself) and other astronauts have pointed that out plus a few minor matters that weren't quite right, but they all say they were impressed by the number of things the movie got right.
In spite of that big boo-boo, I'm giving Gravity
a thumbs-up, because it's a very enjoyable movie.