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Statement by Ambassador HU Xiaodi, head of the Chinese delegation, at the 49th session of the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS



Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you for presiding over the current session of the Legal Sub-committee on behalf of the Chinese delegation. I am convinced that under your able guidance the session will attain the expected results. This delegation would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Mazlan Othman, Director of the UNOOSA and the secretariat for their diligent preparation for this session.

Mr. Chairman,

In 2009, China continued to dedicate itself to peaceful exploration and uses of outer space, with 6 successful launches of 6 domestically produced satellites into orbits. The FY series satellites, Ocean1 satellite and the small satellite constellation for environment and disaster monitoring and forecast are all operating properly, offering wide applications in such areas as meteorology, oceanography, environment monitoring and disaster prevention and mitigation. In January 2010, the third satellite of the COMPASS navigation system was launched successfully. China attaches great importance to space science research and is active in this regard, as shown in the advances made in such fields as space astronomy, space physics and micro gravity.

Mr. Chairman,

The advancement of Chinese space programmes is attributable to the tireless efforts of several generations of dedicated people working in the space sector. This notwithstanding, international cooperation is also indispensable. China has consistently followed the principle of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful use and common development in space cooperation and takes delight in sharing the benefits derived from its space activities with others.

China and ESA collaborated closely in space exploration in 2009 and conducted a 3D probe of geo-space from 6 points, the first of its kind in human history, thus ushering in a new phase of multi-layered and multiple spatio-temporal scale study of geo-space weather. The front-end preparations for the joint China-Russia Mars probe project were already accomplished and the launch of YH1 Mars probe is expected in 2011. With regard to space applications, China has further promoted satellite data sharing by combining the broadcast system of its FY meteorological satellite with European and American satellite broadcast systems to form an international satellite data sharing network.

China accords great importance to the legitimate interests of developing countries in exploring and using outer space and has been committed to enhancing cooperation with other developing countries and to their capacity building. China Brazil Earth Resources Satellites (CBERS) had already provided more than 900,000 scenes of data to users up to the end of 2009 and will start transmitting data to regions in Africa via ground stations. Since the inception of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), China has lent strong support to the Organization in order that it plays a greater role in fostering space technology applications in the Asia and Pacific region.

Mr. Chairman,

In both domestic space endeavor and international cooperation, China always advocates peaceful uses of outer space and abides by the basic principles laid down in the 5 outer space treaties, which constitute the legal frame for peaceful exploration and uses of space and guarantee the correct direction of human space activities. They form an important regime ensuring harmony in outer space.

At the same time we should not lose sight of the fact that the dynamic development of the space sector poses new questions and challenges to the existing space legal framework. The cause of peaceful exploration and uses of outer space has been constantly overshadowed by arms race in outer space. With the general trend of more commercialized and privatized space activities, the lack of effective regulatory measures and institutional norms is becoming more apparent. The effort to protect space environment and achieve sustainable development in outer space should be balanced with the preservation of legitimate interests of developing countries to explore and use outer space. These issues and challenges put human existence and development at stake, hence turning into province of all mankind to which all countries should pay attention. So all Sates are called upon to demonstrate courage and determination in space exploration and use, tackling these problems and challenges head-on and creating a peaceful and stable space environment under the rule of law.

Mr. Chairman,

Over the past 50 years, the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS has made important contributions to the progression of space law. Each single space legal instrument bears the mark of tireless efforts of the Legal Subcommittee and is the crystallization of the work of delegates. Following this good tradition, the Chinese delegation will work creatively and collaboratively to ensure the success of this session and contribute to the expansion and evolution of space law.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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