Senior Chinese leaders met with scientists and officers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA)who took part in Monday's launch of unmanned spacecraft in China's northeastern Gansu Province.
Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and Wu Bangguo and Jia Qinglin, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), attended the meeting.
Li Peng said the successful launch of the "Shenzhou IV" spacecraft marks a substantial breakthrough in China's developmentof unmanned astronautical technology. The dream of flying into outer space cherished by the Chinese people for centuries will soon come true.
The move indicates a marked improvement in China's comprehensive national strength and demonstrates that socialism can make it possible to do something important by pooling the collective force, he added.
In the present-day world, Li said, science and technology develop rapidly with each passing day and there is a long way to go for China in competing with other countries in astronautical development.
He called on people in the space industry to seize the opportunity, work in a pioneering spirit, make new innovations andtrain more space researchers.