|General Statement by Ms. Chen Peijie, Head of the Chinese delegation at the 50th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS|
Please allow me at the outset to congratulate you in the name of the Chinese delegation for once again presiding over the session of the Legal Subcommittee. I am convinced that under your guidance this session will attain desirable results. The Chinese delegation would like to thank Dr. Othman, Director of UN OOSA and the secretariat for the preparations made for this session. Meanwhile we would also use this occasion to extend our condolences to New Zealand and Japan for the devastations they have suffered owing to recent natural disasters.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of COPUOS. Throughout this period COPUOS has scored remarkable achievements in its work and played a proactive role in such fields as promoting peaceful use of outer space, developing and improving space legislation and deepening international space cooperation. China will continue to support the work of COPUOS and promote the common endeavour of the international community to use outer space in a peaceful manner. Since this year also marks the 50th anniversary of human space flight, China would like to pay tribute to scientists and astronauts who have been pushing forward the cause of manned space flight. China will carry on with its effort to reach even higher objectives in its manned space flight undertaking.
To celebrate the two 50-year jubilees OOSA will stage thematic exhibitions, to which the Chinese government attaches great importance, seeing these events as proper platforms to showcase national space achievements and exchange views and space technical skills among countries. China will take an active part in the events and intense preparations are duly underway.
The year 2010 witnessed successes in China's peaceful space activities, with a total of 15 triumphant launches. 20 satellites were sent into orbits, including navigation and positioning satellites of the COMPASS system and the Chang'e 2 moon probe. To date China has already built up a space flight monitoring and control network, which integrates space and ground facilities, is fully equipped and multifunctional. The network not only serves the purpose of monitoring and controlling satellites, but can also provide support to manned space flight and deep space probe missions.
The wide applications of space technology in meteorology, remote sensing, environmental protection and navigation, to name just a few, have significantly contributed to the China's socio-economic development. World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Asian Games, Para-Asian Games in Guangzhou and other large international events in China all benefited from space technology applications for their successes. Using the platform of space science satellites China has carried out intensive space science researches, inter alia, in space weather, space astronomy, helio-physics and dark matter probe.
International cooperation is pivotal for the progress of the space effort of a country and China is ready to further enhance international cooperation in the course of exploration and use of outer space, so that advances in space science and technology will benefit all countries, especially the developing ones. Guided by the principles of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful uses and common development, China in the past year maintained its close ties and exchanges with Russia, the US, Ukrain and Pakistan among others and conducted fruitful cooperations with with ESA, OOSA, ESCAP, Asia and Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and other institutions and organs. China also participated in international projects such as space science clouds calculating network and the AMS project. China also cohosted with UNESCO the international space science and IT youth training programme, which aimed at enriching space knowledge of young people and boosting their enthusiasm for space science.
Disaster prevention and mitigation is another important field of international cooperation for China. As a member to the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, when afflicted by a number of major natural disasters in the past, China has obtained space data from other members after promptly triggering off relevant Charter mechanisms. Such support is vital for relief operations and reconstruction work. Likewise, relevant data and information from China Brazil earth resource satellites (CBERS), Fengyun meteorological satellites and environment disaster reduction satellite have also been offered free to other countries suffering from major disasters to facilitate monitoring and assessment of disasters by those countries.
Last December UN SPIDER Beijing Office was officially opened, indicating a new step upward in space cooperation between China and UN to counter natural disasters. The Chinese government will continue to lend strong support to the operation of the office with a view to making a greater contribution to disaster prevention and reduction in our region.
China has all along advocated the idea of harmony in outer space, abided by the basic principles of the 5 space treaties and dedicated itself to peace, development, cooperation and rule of law in outer space. China hopes that the international community will further optimize the space law regime and provide a legal basis for the orderly conduct of space activities.
China is firmly opposed to space militarization and space arms race. There are gaps within existing space law instruments in this regard that give rise to the increasing escalation of the risks of space militarization and space arms race. Such a situation poses a grave threat to peaceful human space activities and serves no country's interests. Humanity has been tortured by wars throughout its history and we should not let such a menace extend to outer space. China always believes that the best option for maintaining long lasting peace and security in outer space still is to conclude a treaty to prevent space militarization and to tighten the monitoring of implementation of existing treaties.
Furthermore the ever increasing presence of private and commercial activities in outer space begs for establishing effective regulatory measures and norms. Rules relating to attaining long term sustainability of space activities should take into account the need to safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries in exploring and using outer space. The international community should reach agreement on these issues and take concerted actions. The COPUOS Legal Subcommittee should also play its part in this regard.
Human dreams have come true in outer space. We are pursuing an honorable mission and working for the wellbeing and interests of the whole humanity. We should accomplish the various tasks of space exploration and utilization. China will continue to make more contributions to the this cause of whole mankind in an active, constructive and responsible manner.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman