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China, US begin space cooperation
Updated: 2004-12-03 11:19

The space agencies of China and the United States held their first official talks on space cooperation on Tuesday.

The two sides explored possibilities in their cooperation with a focus on the use of space, geoscience and space science, and agreed to establish a regular exchange mechanism to promote bilateral contact and understanding, said Sun Laiyan, the head of China National Space Administration (CNSA), after talks with his US counterpart Sean O'Keefe at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) headquarters in Washington.

"We had good talks. China and the United States can have cooperation in many areas," Sun said.

He said O'Keefe will visit CNSA in 2005, but the schedule of the trip has yet to be decided.

The Tuesday talks marked a historic step in China-US space cooperation. Last month, China for the first time took part in a NASA cooperation conference, along with 15 other countries.

The invitation was unprecedented. China has its own space development program, and it is not a member of the international space station.

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