China signs space and disasters charter

Updated: 2007-05-24 23:20

PARIS - China's Space Agency chief Sun Laiyan on Thursday signed the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters", representing that China has officially joined the global disaster relief regime.

The charter, initiated by the European and French space agencies after the July 1999 UNISPACE III conference in Vienna, also groups agencies from Britain, Canada, India, Japan and the United States.

Through a network of satellites from its members, the regime provides a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters, so as to help survey, assess and mitigate damage.

The mechanism has been engaged in hundreds of disaster-related operations since it officially came into force in 2000.

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