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Statement by the Chinese Delegate under the Item "International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space" at the Fourth Committee of the 66th Session of the General Assembly


2011/10/12

Mr. Chairman,

This year is of special significance for the peaceful uses of outer space by mankind: half a century ago, Yuri Gagarin’s entry into space ushered in the era of manned space flight, and the permanent Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) held its first session in the same year. During its session this year, the bureau of COPUOS and the Office for Outer Space Affairs successfully organized commemorative events such as the high-level forum and the exhibition of manned space flights, providing a fitting platform for cooperation and exchanges among actors in this field. I wish to extend here, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, our thanks for their able guidance and diligent work.

Mr. Chairman,

A high-level delegation from China attended the COPUOS session and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of manned space flight, where it conducted in-depth exchanges with colleagues from other countries and presented the brilliant achievements of China’s space industry over the past five decades. Meanwhile, China's space industry has continued its dynamic momentum this year. The global networking project of the Beidou navigation satellite system continues to make steady progress, and will soon complete the regional navigation system to provide services for the Asia-Pacific region; on September 29, 2011, China successfully launched its first space lab module “Tiangong-I,” marking a crucial first step in its space station program. In addition, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the conversion of space technology into practical applications such as mapping, fishery, transportation, meteorology, and disaster prevention and reduction, for the benefit of people's daily lives.

Mr. Chairman,

At the 54th session of COPUOS, the Chinese delegation proposed that space exploration and exploitation should aim to achieve inclusive development so that the benefits of space activities can reach all countries and their people, especially those who are not yet space-capable. I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate this proposal of the Chinese government.

First, with the increase of space-faring parties and the expansion of frontiers for space exploration, mankind’s space endeavor has come up against many problems in the course of its development. Space environment is getting increasingly congested, space resources are gradually showing strains, and the long-term sustainable development of space activities is faced with challenges. We maintain that outer space activities should be conducted in harmony with space environment and in line with sustainable development, so as to protect our common space environment and to make space exploration and exploitation environment friendly.

Secondly, in recent years, the overall space endeavor has made ​​great progress, but space development is uneven among countries. Some countries with inadequate space capabilities are not only unable to conduct space activities, but even incapable of enjoying the benefits brought about by space technology. We believe that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, have the equal right to peaceful uses of outer space, and every citizen of this planet is entitled to benefit from the efficiency and comfort provided by space technology. Therefore, great efforts are needed to enable those countries that are not yet space-capable to participate in space programs to make space exploration and exploitation benefit all countries.

Thirdly, space exploration expands our horizons and imparts a sense of historical continuity to mankind. These achievements transcend national boundaries and provide us with a deep insight into the human race. Nowadays, the rapid development of commercial launching and space tourism enable more people to experience space in close proximity, and in this process, we also need to let the people of less developed countries experience space exploration as such, so that everyone can have the opportunity to appreciate the magnificence and profundity of space, thereby making space exploration and exploitation open to the whole mankind.

Mr. Chairman,

Inclusive development means that all space-faring parties enjoy equal opportunities and share benefits; it means that countries and nations make common progress through mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation; and it means that all civilizations come together in mutual accommodation and that man and nature co-exist in harmony, forming a virtuous circle. Only by upholding international cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, can inclusive development be achieved. International cooperation is as much a foundation for the success of space exploration and exploitation as a basic guideline for space activities of states. The Outer Space Law is an essential guarantee for building a harmonious space, preventing the weaponization of outer space, and achieving its sustainable development. The inclusive development of outer space needs the continuation of international cooperation and the steady advancement of the rule of law in outer space.

Mr. Chairman,

China will continue to uphold the concept of harmonious outer space and, together with the rest of the international community, commit itself to the inclusive development of the outer space with a view to building an outer space characterized by peace, development, cooperation, and the rule of law.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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