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Foundation funding crucial to space elites
( 2003-11-04 22:23) (China Daily)

Since 1990, more than 500 Chinese space professionals have benefited from funding support from a foundation named after Macao business tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, space programme officials said yesterday.

Wang Liheng, director of the science and technology commission under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said the Hong Kong-based foundation offers funding support totalling nearly 30 million Hong Kong dollars to about 100 training and exchange programmes for bright young space professionals.

The funding support was crucial since Chinese space professionals had been paid insufficiently until recently.

The exchange or training programmes involved carrier rockets, manned space programs, rocket engines with liquid propellant, international trade and economic law, project and human resources management, said Wang, former deputy head of the China National Space Administration.

Some of the space personnel who benefited from the support have become managers of related companies or leading officials of space institutes.

Over the past decade, 470 young professionals, 83 teachers and 23 postgraduates from four prestigious space universities on the Chinese mainland were awarded bonuses or scholarships for their outstanding performances.

More than 50 technical workers selected by the corporation -- the manufacturer of China's carrier rockets, spacecraft and strategic missiles -- have received short-term training in Germany thanks to funding support from the foundation.

Meanwhile, Tsang Hin-Chi, chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, said he will donate HK$100 million (US$12.88 million) to set up the Tsang Hin-Chi Space Development Fund.

He made the announcement at a dinner last Saturday in Hong Kong to honour China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, and the delegation of China's first manned space mission.

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