The State Council Information Office on Thursday published a white paper entitled China's Space Activities in 2006. The document is composed of five chapters -- Aims and Principles of Development; Progress Made in the Past Five Years; Development Targets and Major Tasks for the Next Five Years; Development Policies and Measures; International Exchanges and Cooperation.
Half a century has passed since China embarked on the splendid road to developing its own space industry. For 50 years, China has trail-blazed in this field. Its achievements have been eye-catching, and the nation now ranks among the world's most advanced countries in some crucial fields of space technology. China has always followed the road of peaceful development, and maintained that outer space should be explored for the common wealth of mankind. While supporting all international efforts that utilize outer space for peaceful purposes, China continues to explore and use the cosmos to make new contributions to the development of humanity's space programs.
China's space industry has made great progress since the Chinese government issued the China's Space Activities white paper in 2000. This is the second white paper that the Chinese government has issued since 2000 concerning China's space activities. The full text of the white paper follows:
Space activities around the world have been flourishing in the first few years of the 21st century. Leading countries in the area of spaceflight have formulated or readjusted their development strategies, plans and goals in this sphere. The role of space activities in a country's overall development strategy is becoming increasingly salient, and their influence on human civilization and social progress is increasing.
It has been 50 splendid years since China embarked on the road to develop its space industry, starting in 1956. For half a century, China has worked independently in this field. It has made eye-catching achievements, and ranks among the world's most advanced countries in some important fields of space technology. China is unflinching in taking the road of peaceful development, and always maintains that outer space is the common wealth of mankind. While supporting all activities that utilize outer space for peaceful purposes, China actively explores and uses outer space and continuously makes new contributions to the development of man's space programs.
China has set the strategic goal of building itself into a well-off society in an all-round way, ranking it among the countries with the best innovative capabilities in the first 20 years of the 21st century. The development of the space industry in China now faces new opportunities and higher requirements. In the new stage of development, China will adhere to the scientific outlook on development as guidance, center its work on the national strategic goals, strengthen its innovative capabilities and do its best to make the country's space industry develop faster and better.
China's space industry has made great progress since the Chinese government issued the white paper China's Space Activities in 2000. In order to give people around the world a better understanding of the development of China's space industry over the past five years and its plans for the near future, we hereby offer an expanded introduction to some related issues.
I. Aims and Principles of Development
The aims of China's space activities are: to explore outer space, and enhance understanding of the Earth and the cosmos; to utilize outer space for peaceful purposes, promote human civilization and social progress, and benefit the whole of mankind; to meet the demands of economic construction, scientific and technological development, national security and social progress; and to raise the scientific quality of the Chinese people, protect China's national interests and rights, and build up the comprehensive national strength.
When developing the space industry, China will follow the principles guiding the development of the country's scientific and technological programs, namely, making innovations independently, making leapfrogging development in key areas, shoring up the economy and leading future trends. In the new development stage, the principles of development for China's space industry are as follows:
-- Maintaining and serving the country's overall development strategy, and meeting the needs of the state and reflecting its will. China considers the development of its space industry as a strategic way to enhance its economic, scientific, technological and national defense strength, as well as a cohesive force for the unity of the Chinese people, in order to rejuvenate China. Since the space industry is an important part of the national overall development strategy, China will maintain long-term, stable development in this field.
-- Upholding independence and self-reliance policy, making innovations independently and realizing leapfrogging development. China relied completely on itself when it developed its space industry from scratch, and has made constant progress through making independent innovations. Therefore, increasing the capability for independent innovation is a strategic basis for developing the space industry. In light of the country's actual situation and needs, China will focus on certain areas while ignoring less-important ones. It will choose some limited targets, concentrate its strength on making key breakthroughs and realize leapfrogging development.
-- Maintaining comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, and bringing into full play the functions of space science and technology in promoting and sustaining the country's science and technology sector, as well as economic and social development. China will strengthen strategic planning, making overall plans for the development of space technology, space application and space science. It will encourage progress in space science and technology to promote the development of high technology and industry, as well as the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries. Meanwhile, it will protect the space environment, and develop and utilize space resources in a rational manner.
-- Adhering to the policy of opening up to the outside world, and actively engaging in international space exchanges and cooperation. China supports all activities that utilize outer space for peaceful purposes. It will strengthen exchanges and cooperation in this field with other countries on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit, peaceful utilization of outer space and common development.