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General Statement by Ambassador CHENG Jingye, Head of the Chinese delegation to the 51st Session of the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS


Mr. chairman,

The Chinese Delegation congratulates you on your Chairmanship at the Legal Subcommittee. We are convinced that under your guidance this session will achieve full success. This delegation also expresses its thanks to Dr. Othman, Director of OOSA and the secretariat for the efforts made to prepare for this meeting.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me begin with a brief presentation of China's major space activities over the past year. China made XX successful space launches in 2011, sending 20 objects into outer space, including satellites, an unmanned spacecraft and a target spacecraft, namely, Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-­8, which successfully performed rendezvous and docking operations twice while orbiting in space.

Space technologies have been widely applied in China in such fields as meteorology, marine applications, disaster prevention and mitigation, environmental monitoring and navigation, thus making important contributions to national economic development and the wellbeing of the population. By the same token China also attaches high importance to space science by actively carrying out researches and making progress in space weather, space physics and other fields.

Mr. Chairman,

China is ready to share the benefits of peaceful exploration and use of outer space with all other countries. Consistently adhering to the principle of equality, mutual benefit, peaceful use and common development, China is dedicated to international cooperation and enabling all countries, particularly developing countries, to benefit from the advances of space technology. In 2011 when the Horn of Africa was suffering from acute drought and Pakistan was inundated by severe floods, China offered relevant data products and services of its satellites for environment and disaster monitoring and forecast to these countries in dire situations. A ground station for China's Environment and Disaster Monitoring and Forecast Small Satellite-A was constructed in Thailand and then handed over to the country in April 2011, which played its role in monitoring the subsequent flood in Thailand.

Apart from bilateral projects, China has also been conducting multilateral exchanges and cooperations in an active manner. In November 2011, UN SPIDER Office in Beijing hosted United Nations International Conference on 
Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Management, Best Practices for Risk Reduction 
and Rapid Response Mapping. As a response to the space weather initiative of COPUOS, China also hosted the 2nd International Conference on Storm, Substorm and Space Weather (ICSSSW), as well as the 4th International Living With a Star Program Science Workshop.

Mr. Chairman,

China always upholds its belief in harmony in outer space and advocates its peaceful use. In December 2011 China issued its third space white paper, reiterating its steadfast pursuit of the path of peaceful development and peaceful exploration, exploitation and use of outer space.

Space is the province of whole mankind. The Chinese government opposes resolutely weaponization of and arms race in outer space and dedicates itself actively to the effort of maintaining peace and security in outer space. China continues to believe that elaborating relevant international legal instruments through negotiation is still the best option to preserve long lasting peace and security in outer space.

Mr. Chairman,

China always abides by the space law regime based on the 5 space treaties, be it in exploring and using space on its own or in carrying out international cooperation. Naturally we must set sight on the fact that the rapid development of space activities gives rise to new issues and challenges for the existing space law regime and it is necessary for the international community to further improve the space law regime and come up with the legal basis to resolve these issues and face up to these challenges. In this respect, the space asset protocol to the Convention on International Interests In Mobile Equipment adopted not long ago in Berlin is, in our view, a positive result achieved by the international community.

Mr. Chairman,

Over half a century, the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS, as a platform for delegates of various countries to exchange views, has contributed tirelessly to the development of space law. This delegation expresses its admiration to the Subcommittee. Along with other delegations we are ready to make our contribution to the success of this session as well as the improvement and progression of the space law.

Thank you, Chairman.

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