China will continue to strengthen international cooperation for the peaceful use of outer space, a senior official said.
Zhang Yulin, deputy chief commander of China’s manned space flight project, made the remarks on April 20 night during a reception for United Nation representatives after the successful launch of Tianzhou 1, China’s first cargo spacecraft.
“The launch of Tianzhou 1 is an important milestone in China’s manned space program, and a firm step for humanity’s exploration in space,” he said. “For the next step, China will build a space station that will be an open, inclusive and innovative science platform.”
China plans to launch the station’s core module in 2019, and the whole station is set to be complete by 2022, Zhang added.
“Space exploration is fundamentally about the expansion of human living space,” he said. “This goal cannot be achieved without support from the international community.”
China is willing to cooperate with other nations and organizations in the fields of space station platform and technology, astronaut training, flight and space scientific research and application, and manned space flight technology, hoping that “China’s space station, as well as the manned space program, will benefit mankind,” he said.
Simonetta Di Pippo, director of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, said she appreciated the generous and extensive support from China, who is a member of the UN Committee of Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
“China’s opening up of its space station to international cooperation, especially for developing countries, is beneficial for mankind’s sustainable development goals and maintaining the peaceful uses of outer space,” she said.
Tebogo Seokolo, South Africa’s permanent representative to the UN’s Vienna-based international organizations, which includes UNOOSA, said China has made a positive impact on the peaceful uses of outer space and has helped developing countries to expand their space flight capabilities, so “everyone could benefit from the peaceful uses of outer space”.
Ayesha Riyaz, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Office at Vienna, said the speed at which China is developing its space capability is “nothing short of amazing”.
“Pakistan and China are cooperating very closely in space affairs, such as the training of Pakistan engineers and astronauts,” she said. “China’s willingness to share its fruits of manned space development with developing countries is highly appreciated. I am sure more fruitful cooperation will come.”