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Stament by ambassador Tang Guoqiang in general exchange of views at the 51st session of COPUOS


2008/06/12

Chairperson,

 

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of my delegation, to congratulate you on your election as chairman of COPUOS. We are confident under your outstanding leadership and with the joint efforts of various delegations this session will be a success. My thanks also go to OOSA director Dr. Othman and her entire staff for their efforts expended for this session. My delegation will as always participate in this session constructively and cooperatively to move our work on various fronts forward.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend sincere gratitude to you and the members states for the your condolence to the victims of the earthquake Sichuan China, as well as the sympathy and support for the Chinese Government and people.

   

Chairperson,

 

In today's world, pursuit of peace, quest for development and promotion of cooperation have become the themes of our times. Sharing development opportunities and jointly responding to various challenges concern the fundamental interests and are the common aspirations of all countries. It is the view of the Chinese government that countries should work hand in hand in building a harmonious world of lasting peace and prosperity for all.

 

Outer space is the province of all humanity and a harmonious outer space is an important element of a harmonious world. The fundamental goal of efforts to build a harmonious outer space is to ensure that outer space is used for peaceful purposes and to promote common development. Maintaining and strengthening the rule of law in outer space and promoting international cooperation in the space field are important guarantees for building a harmonious outer space.

 

Chairperson,

 

 Steadfast in going down the path of peaceful development, China in its space activities has always been guided by the objective of peaceful uses of outer space and opposed to the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. China is ready to work with the international community to maintain peace and tranquillity in outer space, use outer space to advance human civilization and social progress and maximize the benefits of space to humanity.

 

After 52 years of development, China has acquired capabilities in space access, satellite development and applications, space infrastructure and ground support, human spaceflight and space exploration. The successful launch last October of Chang'e-I lunar exploration satellite was another milestone in China's space endeavours. Here, on behalf of CNSA, I wish to thank countries and agencies including ESA for their help in China's lunar orbiting exploration project.

 

While seeking self-development, we are committed to promoting development and achieving prosperity for all by using outer space. The Sino-Brazilian earth-resource satellite has provided hundreds of thousands of frames of remote sensing imagery, which have been used widely across various fields of national economy and yielded tangible socioeconomic benefits. Last year, China successfully launched and delivered in orbit a telecommunications satellite for Nigeria.

 

To achieve long-term, sustainable common development, we should make efforts to protect the space environment. In this connection, we appreciate the endorsement by UNGA of the space debris mitigation guidelines and will continue taking active measures to mitigate debris. China is prepared to cooperate fully with other countries in contributing to addressing issues such as the increasingly short supply of space resources, nuclear power sources in outer space, the pollution of the space environment by space debris and ejecta, among others.

 

Maintaining and strengthening the rule of law in outer space is an important guarantee for a harmonious outer space. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the other four international treaties on outer space constitute the existing international legal regime governing outer space and have played a positive and effective role in regulating national activities, safeguarding national interests and maintaining order and promoting cooperation in space. The current international space law, however, has proved insufficient to prevent a weaponization of and arms race in outer space, to regulate commercial space activities of private entities or effectively control the pollution and wasteful use of outer space. In the face of these deficiencies and shortcomings, we need to supplement and integrate the existing space law.

 

The Chinese government supports and strongly advocates the negotiation of relevant legal instruments to prevent a weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. We support development of a legal regime regulating commercial and private space activities. We also support efforts to establish rules and regulations on protecting the outer space environment and preserving the sustainable use of outer space resources. In addition, we also favour attempts to elaborate a comprehensive outer space law by supplementing and integrating the current space law from the perspectives of law codification and development. For decades, COPUOS has made an important contribution to the rule of law in outer space and, we are confident, will continue to play its positive role in this regard.

 

Strengthening international cooperation in the space area holds great significance for building a harmonious outer space. China is committed to developing mutually beneficial and win-win cooperative relations with other countries in the space arena. In recent years, China has signed approximately 20 space cooperation agreements and conducted cooperative projects with many countries, space agencies and international organizations, worked with relevant countries in the Asia-Pacific Region to jointly set up the "Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization" (APSCO), pushed for the Small multi-mission satellite project, and organized a master's training course on space technology and applications in Asia and the Pacific. The UN SPIDER Beijing Office will be up and running as soon as the Host Country Agreement is concluded to facilitate disaster relief using space technology in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, China has taken an active part in the activities of ICG, IADC, the global exploration strategy coordination mechanism as well as the earth observation organization.

 

Chairperson,

 

For years, we have seen the tangible benefits of space technology for human society. In our disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of the severe earthquake in China's Sichuan province, we felt keenly the role of space technology. China received satellite images free of charge from a large number of countries, including those received through the International Charter: space and major disaster mechanism. These images, along with China's domestic satellite assets, have played an important role in disaster assessment and relief effort. Due to a breakdown of conventional communications, maritime satellite communications also played a vital role. At China's request, INMARSAT doubled its satellite channel resources for the affected areas. At present, work in the disaster areas has entered the 2nd phase, where space technology is widely used in multiple fields such as disaster assessment, disaster and secondary disaster monitoring, communications, telemedicine, etc. Here, I wish to thank, on behalf of the Chinese government, all countries, peoples and organizations who provided help and expressed sympathies to China. We are ready to continue strengthening international cooperation in space applications fields such as remote sensing by satellite and satellite communications, among others.

 

Chairperson,

 

Let us work together toward a peaceful, cooperative and rules-based harmonious outer space in the process of building a harmonious world of lasting peace and prosperity for all.

 

Thank you, chairperson.

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