Introduction I II III IV
China persistently supports activities involving the peaceful use of outer space, and maintains that international space cooperation should be promoted and strengthened on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, mutual complementarity and common development.
The Chinese government holds that international space cooperation should follow the fundamental principles listed in the "Deceleration on International Cooperation on Exploring and Utilizing Outer Space for the Benefits and Interests of All Countries, Especially in Consideration of Developing Countries' Demands," which was approved by the 51st General Assembly of the United Nations in 1996. China adheres to the following principles while carrying out international space cooperation:
- The aim of international space cooperation is to peacefully develop and use space resources for the benefit of all mankind.
- International space cooperation should be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, mutual complementarity and common development, and the generally accepted principles of international law.
- The priority aim of international space cooperation is to simultaneously increase the capability of space development of all countries, particularly the developing countries, and enable all countries to enjoy the benefits of space technology.
- Necessary measures should be adopted to protect the space environment and space resources in the course of international space cooperation.
- The function of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) should be consolidated and the outer space application programs of the United Nations should be backed up.
The Chinese government adopts the following policies in developing international space cooperation:
- Persisting in the independence and self-reliance policy, carrying out active and pragmatic international space cooperation to meet the needs of the national modernization drive and the demands of the domestic and international markets for space science and technology.
- Supporting multilateral international cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space within the framework of the United Nations.
- Attaching importance to the Asian-Pacific regional space cooperation and supporting space cooperation in other regions of the world.
- Attaching importance to space cooperation with both developed and developing countries.
- Enhancing and supporting research institutions, industrial enterprises and universities and colleges to develop international space exchanges and cooperation in different forms and at different levels under the guidance of relevant state policies, laws and regulations.
China's participation in international space cooperation started in the mid-1970s. During the last two decades or more, China has joined bilateral, regional, multilateral and international space cooperation in different forms, such as commercial launching service, which have yielded extensive achievements.
1. Bilateral Cooperation: Since 1985, China has successively signed inter-governmental or inter-agency cooperative agreements, protocols or memorandums, and established long-term cooperative relations with a dozen countries, including the United States, Italy, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, Sweden , Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and Chile. Bilateral space cooperation is implemented in various forms, from making reciprocal space programs and exchanges of scholars and specialists, and sponsoring symposiums, to jointly developing satellite or satellite parts, and providing satellite piggyback service and commercial launching service.
In 1993, a Sino-German joint venture - EurasSpace GmbH - was established, and a contract on the development and manufacture of Sinosat-1 was signed with DASA and Aerospeciale in 1995. Sinosat-1, which was successfully launched in 1998, was the first cooperative project on satellite development between the Chinese and European aerospace industries.
The collaboration between China and Brazil on the project of an earth resources satellite is making good progress, and the first such satellite was successfully launched by China on October 14, 1999. In addition to cooperation on complete satellites, China and Brazil are cooperating in the areas of satellite technology, satellite application and satellite components. The cooperation between China and Brazil in the space sector has set a good example for the developing countries in "South-South Cooperation" in the high-tech field.
2. Regional Cooperation: China attaches great importance to space cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1992, China, Thailand, Pakistan and some other countries jointly sponsored the "Asian-Pacific Multilateral Space Technology Cooperation Symposium. " Thanks to the impetus of such regional cooperation, the governments of China, Iran, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand signed the "Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Small Multi-Mission Satellite and Related Activities" in Thailand in April 1998. Besides the signatory countries, other countries in the Asia-Pacific region may also join the cooperative project, which has helped to enhance the progress of space technology and space application in the Asia- Pacific region.
3. Multilateral Cooperation: In June 1980, China dispatched an observer delegation to the 23rd Meeting of UN COPUOS for the first time, and on November 3, 1980, China became a member country of the committee. Since then, China has participated in all the meetings of UN COPUOS and the annual meetings held by its Science, Technology and Law Sub-committee. In 1983 and 1988, China acceded to the "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies," "Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space," "Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects, " and "Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space," and has strictly performed its responsibilities and obligations.
China supports and has participated in the UN space applications program. Since 1988, China has provided other developing countries every year with scholarships for long-term space technology training. In 1994 , together with ESCAP, China hosted in Beijing the first Asian-Pacific regional "Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific ," and the "Beijing Declaration" issued after the conference has had a far-reaching influence. In September 1999, in collaboration with the UN and ESA, the Chinese government held in Beijing the "Symposium on Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Development with Space Applications." From July to August 2000,together with the OOSA of the UN and ESCAP, relevant departments of the Chinese government opened the Short-term Training Course for Asia-Pacific Multilateral Cooperation in Space Technology and Applications. Trainees from ten developing countries in the Asia- Pacific region attended the course.
The issue of space debris is a big challenge to further expansion of space activities. The relevant departments of China pay great attention to the problem, and have carried out research on this issue with related countries since the beginning of the 1980s. In June 1995, CNSA acceded to the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee. China will continuously make efforts to explore, together with other countries, ways and means to mitigate and reduce space debris, and promote international cooperation on this issue.
In addition, China has participated in multilateral cooperative projects, such as "Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, " "World Weather Monitoring," "UN Decade of Disaster Mitigation, " and "International Solar-Terrestrial Physics."
4. Commercial Launching Service: Ever since the Chinese government made the declaration in 1985 that China's "Long March" launching vehicles would serve the international market and provide international satellite launching service, up to October 2000 , China had successfully launched 27 foreign-made satellites for users in Pakistan, Australia, Sweden , the United States , the Philippines, as well as domestic users. The service of "Long March " launching vehicles in the international satellite launching market is a beneficial supplement to international commercial satellite launching services, and it has provided foreign clients with new options.
Priority Cooperation Areas
The Chinese government will continuously render support to international exchanges and cooperation in space technology, space applications and space science, with priority being given to cooperation in the following areas:
- Actively enhancing multilateral cooperation in space technology and applications in the Asian-Pacific region, and promoting regional economic growth and environmental and natural calamity monitoring with space technology.
- Supporting Chinese space enterprises to participate in international space commercial launching services in line with the principles of equality, equity and reciprocity.
- Giving support to using China's mature space technology and space application technology to carry out cooperation with other developing countries and provide services to cooperating countries on the basis of mutual benefit.
- Supporting international exchanges and cooperation in earth environment monitoring, space environmental exploration, and studies of micro-gravity science, space physics and space astronomy , particularly international exchanges and cooperation in micro-gravity fluid physics, space materials science, space life science and space biology.