Note: presented on 3 November 1999 to the International Space Business Assembly (ISBA) held in Washington, D.C.

Development and International Cooperation of China’s

Aerospace Science and Technology

Luo Ge

Director General, Department of Foreign Affairs

China National Space Administration

Distinguished Mr. Chairman,

Representatives and Experts,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, please allow me, on behalf of Mr. Luan Enjie, Administrator of China National Space Administration, and the Chinese delegation, to express our appreciation to the U.S. Space Foundation, Space News and the ISBA organizers for their kind invitation. We wish this conference a great success.

We are pleased to have this opportunity to exchange views and discuss the present situation and future of the space industry with our counterparts from U.S. and other countries of the world at the threshold of the new millennium. We are gratified to see that the swift development of space science, technology and its application has been playing an important role in the sustainable development and social progress of the mankind. such achievements would not have been scored without the unswerving exploration spirit of space scientists and technicians for decades, as well as the wise and far-sighted policies and powerful support of the governments. And here we’d like to express our respect and appreciation to all those who have made contribution to the progress of the space technology.

The Chinese people’s dream of space flight started from the time immemorial, and that is the famous legend of Goddess Chang’e flying to the moon. Wanhu, the pioneer of China’s space flight, made a flight attempt several hundred years ago. China’s space industry practically started in 1956, shortly after the establishment of the People’s Republic. Our space science and technology have grown from scratch and developed with arduous and independent efforts of scientific and technological people for more than 40 years. Now it is playing an important role in meeting the demands for the development of China’s national economy and the improvement of the people’s living standard. It has made great contribution to promoting China’s modernization process and maintaining world peace.

China has now established complete space science, technology and industry system. we have already developed nine different types of Long March launch vehicles, having the payload capability of 9,200 kg to low earth orbit and 1,500-5,300 kg to geo transfer orbit. With such launch capacity, we can meet the performance requirements of customers at both domestic and international market. By present, we have conducted 58 launches, including more than twenty successful international commercial launch missions. Alongside developing launch vehicles, China has also developed and launched satellites for telecommunications, TV broadcasting, meteorology, natural resources, earth observation and scientific experiment. China has started the development of manned space program. The space ship developed by our own efforts is expected to be launched in the near future.

At present, China’s space technology has been widely used in the national economy and the people’s lives. Satellites telecommunications and TV broadcasting have a coverage over the whole country. The number of education TV programs viewers has reached about 100 million in the country. China’s recoverable satellites and the China-Brazil joint built Earth Observation Satellite have and will be widely utilized in such fields as territory survey, geological investigation, water conservancy, petroleum exploration. Meteorological satellites at both polar and geosyncronous orbit provide weather forecast for the whole country 24 hours a day. As a developing country, China is still underdeveloped in economy and technology, though we put limited financial resources in developing space science, technology and its application solely for peaceful space utilization, national economic development and people’s wealth.

In developing space science and technology on its own efforts, China also attached great importance to extensive cooperation and exchange with other countries in this field, we have signed space cooperation agreements with more than 10 countries and regions. Recently, the China-Brazil earth Resources Satellite – CBERS was successfully launched. And we have cooperated with Germany and France in DFH-3 and Sinosat programs, and carried out exchanges with Russian Federation and other countries in space science and technology. The cooperation with the United States in commercial launch services has yielded certain achievements though facing with a lot of difficulties. All these cooperation and exchange are carried out on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and reciprocity.

In the 21st century, space science and technology will play a more important role and will have incalculable influence to mankind’s subsistence and development. The Chinese government will attach more attention to the development and application of space science and technology and speed up the development of the space industry to meet the demands for the growth of national economy and the improvement of people’s livelihood, environmental protection, mitigation of natural disaster and maintenance of world peace. the development and exploration of space science and technology, as a grand, complex and arduous cause with high risk and investment, can not be accomplished by a single country or nation and needs the joint efforts and cooperation of the whole world. The Chinese government supports its space industry in exchange and cooperation with other countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and common development. We are devoted to peaceful development and utilization of space and are against any attempts of politicizing what have been always pure commercial issues, which lead to no way for it does no good to any country, or to the development of space industry of the whole world. China National Space Administration, as the governmental authority for space industry, will continue the cooperation and exchange with its counterparts in other countries and make its due contribution to mankind’s civilization and progress.

Thank you.