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Statement by Ambassador Tang Guoqiang, Head of Chinese Delegation, at the 49th Session of COPUOS


2006/06/21

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of this session of COPUOS. We believe that, under the guidance of you and other members of the bureau and with the common efforts and cooperation of all committee members, this session will successfully accomplish its tasks, thus contributing to the peaceful uses of outer space and international cooperation. The Chinese Delegation will, as always, actively support and participate in various activities of this committee, to ensure the success of the session.

Mr. Chairman,

China's development in the space sector during the past 50 years tells us that advances in space technology and its applications can lead to a quantum leap in relevant scientific fields and the overall technical capacity, through which national economy, scientific and technological development and the living standard of the population can be fostered and the final objective of benefitting the whole mankind will be realized.

Over the past year, China achieved new successes in its space effort. Apart from the successful launches of telecommunication satellite Asia-Pacific 6, scientific experiment satellite SHIJIAN 7 and 2 other recoverable satellites, we sent yet another manned spacecraft Shen Zhou 6 with two astronauts aboard into space in October 2005, subsequent to the previous successful flight of Shen Zhou 5. After 5 days of flight around the earth, it landed safely and became our first space experiment with the participation of multiple crewmembers, with anticipated results achieved.

In addition, the Chinese government continues to carry out international cooperation and exchanges with other countries, space agencies and international space organizations in the areas of space technology and applications on the basis of peaceful uses, equality and mutual benefit, complementarity and common progress. In 2005, the Chinese government successfully hosted the Asia disaster reduction conference in Beijing, which adopted Beijing Plan of Action for disaster risk reduction in Asia.

It is noteworthy that the effort of the Chinese government to promote multilateral cooperation in the field of space technology and applications in the Asia and the Pacific region has achieved remarkable progress. The Convention of Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization was open for signature in Beijing on 28 October 2005 and as of 1st June this year, there are already 9 signatory states, namely, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey. The Convention will enter into force following the 5th ratification, by then the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization will formally come into being, with its headquarters in Beijing. We are convinced that the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization will contribute to the expansion of exchanges and cooperation among countries, to economic development, social progress and the raise of living standard in Asia-Pacific.

Mr. Chairman,

During its 11th 5-year-plan period (2006-2010), by way of encouraging innovation and enhancing international cooperation, China will continue to press ahead with the transformation of its space industry from the phase of experimental applications to the phase of operational services, developing communication, navigation and remote sensing satellites and their applications and forming a space industry chain which covers space, ground, end products manufacturing and operational services.

Mr. Chairman,

The rapid growth of space activities and space technology offers not just tremendous opportunities for development, but also serious tests and challenges. For nearly 50 years, the international community has made sustained efforts to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes. However, the policy of a certain country to test, deploy and use weapons and weapon systems in outer space disconcerting. Outer space is the common heritage of mankind and weaponization of outer space is bound to trigger off arms race in outer space, thus rendering outer space a new arena for military confrontation. This goes against the very principle of peaceful exploration and uses outer space and will cause serious consequences. The Chinese government is ready, along with other member states, to make a greater effort to maintain outer space for peaceful uses and oppose the militarization and weaponization of outer space.

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