China's Space Activities in 2006
V. International Exchanges and Cooperation
The Chinese government holds that outer space is the common wealth of all mankind, and each and every country in the world enjoys equal rights to freely explore, develop and utilize outer space and celestial bodies; and that all countries' outer space activities should be beneficial to the economic development, social progress of nations, to security, subsistence and development of mankind, and to friendly cooperation between people of different countries.
International space cooperation should adhere to the fundamental principles stated in the "Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of Developing Countries." China maintains that international space exchanges and cooperation should be strengthened on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful utilization and common development.
The Chinese government has adopted the following policies with regard to developing international space exchanges and cooperation:
-- Adhering to the principle of independence and taking the initiative in our own hands, carrying out active and practical international cooperation in consideration of the overall, rational utilization of domestic and international markets and resources to meet the needs of the national modernization drive.
-- Supporting activities regarding the peaceful use of outer space within the framework of the United Nations. Supporting all inter- governmental activities for promoting the development of space technology, space application and space science as well as those conducted between non-governmental space organizations.
-- Attaching importance to space cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and supporting other regional space cooperation around the world.
-- Reinforcing space cooperation with developing countries, and valuing space cooperation with developed countries.
-- Encouraging and endorsing the efforts of domestic scientific research institutes, industrial enterprises, institutions of higher learning, as well as social organizations to develop international space exchanges and cooperation in different forms and at different levels under the guidance of relevant state policies, laws and regulations.
Over the past five years, China has developed bilateral space cooperation with a host of countries. It has successively signed 16 international space cooperation agreements and memorandums with 13 countries, space agencies and international organizations, and propelled multilateral cooperation in space technology and its application in the Asia-Pacific region and the process of establishing a space cooperation institution for the region. China has joined relevant activities sponsored by the United Nations and other relevant international organizations, and supported international space commercial activities. These measures have yielded positive results.
1. Bilateral cooperation: Over the past five years, China has signed cooperation agreements on the peaceful use of outer space and space project cooperation agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, the ESA and the European Union Committee, and has established space cooperation subcommittee or joint commission mechanisms with Brazil, France, Russia and Ukraine. It has signed space cooperation memorandums with space organizations of India and Britain, and has conducted exchanges with space-related bodies of Algeria, Chile, Germany, Italy, Japan, Peru and the United States.
China continues to collaborate with Brazil on the Earth resources satellite program. Following the successful launch of the Sino-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite 02 in October 2003, the Chinese and Brazilian governments signed supplementary protocols on the joint research and manufacturing of satellites 02B, 03 and 04, and on cooperation in a data application system, maintaining the continuity of data of Sino-Brazil Earth resources satellites and expanding the application of such satellites' data regionwide and worldwide.
China and France have developed extensive space exchanges and cooperation. Under the mechanism of the Sino-French Joint Commission on Space Cooperation, the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have made important progress in space science, Earth science, life science, satellite application, and satellite TT&C.
The space cooperation between China and Russia has produced marked results. Within the framework of the Space Cooperation SubCommittee of the Committee for the Regular Sino-Russian Premiers' Meeting, a long-term cooperation plan has been determined. In addition, exchanges and cooperation in the sphere of manned spaceflight have been carried out, including astronaut training.
China has unfolded space exchanges and cooperation with Ukraine. Under the mechanism of the Sino-Ukrainian Joint Commission on Space Cooperation, the two countries have determined cooperation plans.
China and the ESA have carried out the Sino-ESA Double Star Satellite Exploration of the Earth's Space Plan. China's relevant departments and the ESA have implemented the "Dragon Program," involving cooperation in Earth observation satellites, having so far conducted 16 remote-sensing application projects in the fields of agriculture, forestry, water conservancy, meteorology, oceanography and disasters.
2. Multilateral cooperation: In October 2005, the representatives of China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand signed the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) Convention in Beijing, and in June 2006 Turkey signed the Convention as well. APSCO will be headquartered in Beijing. This marks a significant step toward the official establishment of APSCO.
China continues to promote the Asia-Pacific Region Multilateral Cooperation in Small Multi-Mission Satellites Project. Together with Bangladesh, Iran, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand, China has started the joint research, manufacture and application of small multi-mission satellites, to be launched in 2007.
China takes a positive part in activities organized by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) and its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Legal Subcommittee. China has 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 and Return of Astronauts, and on the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space," "Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects," and "Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space," and strictly fulfils its responsibilities and obligations. China actively participates in the relevant activities organized by the UN COPUOS to implement the recommendations made by the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III). In particular, China, alongside Canada and France as co-chairs, has propelled the work of the space-system-based disaster mitigation and disaster management of the Action Team (AT-7) joined by 40 member states of COPUOS and 15 international organizations, and has actively taken part in the work of an ad hoc expert group to study the possibility of creating a coordination mechanism for disaster mitigation and management. China has acceded to a disaster mitigation mechanism consisting of space organizations from different countries in the light of the Charter on Cooperation to Achieve the Coordinated Use of Space Facilities in the Event of Natural or Technological Disasters. In cooperation with the UN, China has hosted UN/ESA/China basic space science workshops and a UN/China workshop on tele-health development in Asia and the Pacific. China has also hosted, in collaboration with the Multilateral Cooperation Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, training courses and symposia on space technology applications, and has provided financial support for these activities. China has also taken part in a program promoting the application of space for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific organized and implemented by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
China has actively participated in activities organized by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, started the Space Debris Action Plan, and strengthened international exchanges and cooperation in the field of space debris research. It has participated in the relevant activities organized by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), and hosted the 18th CEOS plenary and 20th anniversary activities in Beijing in November 2004. In May 2005, China officially became a member of the ad hoc inter-governmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and an executive committee member as well. In July 2006, China held in Beijing the 36th COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) Scientific Assembly and the 8th International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) International Conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon. In addition, China has taken part in the relevant activities of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), International Astronautical Federation (IAF), and Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).
3. Commercial activities: China launched a communications satellite "APSTAR VI" into orbit in April 2005. In December 2004, China signed a commercial contract for a communications satellite with Nigeria, providing in-orbit delivery service to that country. In November 2005, China signed a commercial contract for a communications satellite with Venezuela, providing in-orbit delivery service and associated ground application facilities.
Priority Cooperation Areas
The Chinese government continuously renders support to international exchanges and cooperation in space technology, space application and space science, with priority given in the next five years to cooperation in the following areas:
-- Scientific research into space astronomy, space physics, micro-gravity science, space life science, lunar exploration and planet exploration;
-- Data sharing and services of Earth observation satellites, and application and research in the areas of resources investigation, environment monitoring, prevention and mitigation of disasters, and global climate change monitoring and forecasting;
-- Sharing of space TT&C network resources, and mutual provision of space TT&C assistance;
-- Design and manufacture of communications satellites and Earth observation satellites;
-- Manufacture of ground facilities and key components of satellite communications, remote sensing, and navigation and positioning;
-- Application of satellite communications and broadcasting in tele-education and tele-medicine, and expansion of application scope of satellite broadcasting and TV, and related services for satellite navigation and positioning;
-- Commercial satellite launching services, export of satellites and their components and parts, and construction and services of satellite ground TT&C and application facilities;
-- Exchanges and training of personnel in various fields of space activities.