Call for cosmic cooperation with Europeans
Participants attending a China-European Union space workshop Wednesday in Beijing agreed the two sides need to enhance co-operation in the field of space.
"Successful collaboration in space has already proved to be a 'win-win' situation, and more must be done to develop our ties,'' said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin in his opening remarks.
The aims of China's space policies, as described in China's November 2000 White Paper, are largely in accord with EU's policy orientations, Busquin said.
And this can be the cement of Sino-EU future partnership, he added.
Co-operation between China and the EU in space includes the December launch of the Double Star satellite and the signing in September of a Framework Agreement between China and the EU on China's participation in the Galileo Programme.
The Double Star became a joint effort of China's space agency and the European Space Agency in 2001.
By launching two satellites by mid-2004, Chinese and European scientists hope the Double Star Project will operate alongside four satellites from the Cluster II project, which the Europeans started in 2000 to study how solar winds affect the Earth.
The Galileo Programme is the EU's plan to set up its own global navigation satellite system.
Once it is completed, the Galileo Programme will add to the two already existing independent systems in the world -- the global positioning system of the United States and Russia's Glonass system.
The Framework Agreement highlights co-operative activities on satellite navigation in a range of sectors, such as science and technology, industrial manufacturing, and service and market development.
A China-Europe technical training and co-operation centre on global satellite navigation is working in Beijing's Zhongguancun High-Tech Zone to serve as a local centre for the Galileo Programme.
Sun Laiyan, vice-director of the China National Space Administration, said China is willing to strengthen Sino-EU space co-operation and hopes to contribute to the Galileo Programme.
Busquin and China's Minister of Science and Technology signed a joint statement on Sino-EU science and technology co-operation.
According to the statement, existing co-operation in fields such as biotechnology, information society technology, food safety, energy and new materials will continue to be strengthened.
And the two sides will also explore relations in news areas. They include space, hydrogen energy and emerging diseases common to man and animals.