|Statement by Mr. MA Xinmin, Chinese Delegate, at the Fourth Committee of the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 29: International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space|
New York, 18 October 2005
At the outset, Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to express my thanks and appreciation to the Bureau of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the Office for Outer Space Affairs of the UN Secretariat for the positive outcome of COPUOS's 48th Session. China attaches great importance to the Item of "International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space," and hopes that consideration of this item will facilitate interaction among countries in activities related to peaceful uses of outer space and expand areas of international cooperation.
Mr. Chairman, at its 48th Session, COPUOS continued its consideration of ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes. While humans are achieving notable progress in peaceful uses of outer space, they are faced with daunting challenges in outer space and its peaceful uses, namely the ever-expanding military uses of outer space, the increasing danger of its weaponization and the on-going research and test of space weapons. These practices go against the principle of peaceful uses of outer space set out in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, and also run counter to the Space Millennium Declaration adopted at UNISPACE III. It is China's hope that COPUOS will strengthen its efforts in opposing space militarization and weaponization, preventing an arms race in outer space, and for that matter, exploring ways and means to establish a comprehensive and effective legal mechanism. In this regard, COPUOS can count on China's full support.
This session of COPUOS also discussed the preliminary draft Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. The Chinese Government closely followed the progress of negotiation on the protocol, and sent delegations to the relevant meetings organized by Unidroit. China believes that in order to ensure a positive role for the financing scheme as provided for in the draft protocol in facilitating the development of space activities within the existing legal framework, it is highly necessary to conduct an in-depth study of the relationship between the future protocol and the current legal regime on outer space, especially the interactive relationship between the two in actual operations. With regard to the appropriateness of the United Nations serving as supervisory authority under the future protocol, certain differences among delegations have been noted. China keeps an open mind on this question and supports COPUOS in its continued consideration of this matter.
With regard to the implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III, the Chinese Government has noted that practical results have been achieved in implementing the recommendations concerning peaceful uses of outer space under the guidance of COPUOS and with the support of member states concerned. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the implementation of the relevant recommendations and has actively participated in the activities of the relevant action teams. In accordance with the resolution adopted by the 59th session of the General Assembly, the ad hoc expert group led by the Office for Outer Space Affairs conducted a study on the recommendation made by the seventh action team on the possibility of creating the DMISCO and prepared a draft feasibility program. The Chinese Government is of the view that creating such an international entity is of important significance in that it can promote more effectively the application of space technology in disaster reduction and management on the global scale and in developing countries in particular, with a view to minimizing human and material losses caused by natural disasters. China supports the work carried out by the ad hoc expert group and hopes that it will make notable progress at an early date.
Mr. Chairman, now I'd like to touch briefly on what China has achieved over the past year and what it plans to do in the near future in the field of peaceful uses of outer space. In the course of last year, China made new progress in the realm of space technology and space science research. China successfully launched the polar orbit satellite Tan Ce 2 , and some scientific experiment satellites such as Satellites A and B of Shi Jian 6 . On October 17 (Beijing Time), the Shen Zhou VI manned spacecraft carrying two astronauts touched down at the primary landing site safely after completing its five day flight with all the scientific experimental programs carried out successfully. In the area of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, the Chinese Government strengthened and expanded its bilateral interaction and cooperation and actively participated in regional cooperation with encouraging results. In the next ten years or so, the Chinese Government, in light of its immediate needs as well as its long-term goals for national development and social progress, will focus on the development of large-capacity, high-performance and long-life broadcast communication satellites in an effort to build up its satellite communication industry. R&D will be undertaken on a new generation of non-toxic, non-polluting, high-performance and low-cost delivery rockets, thereby setting up an earth observation satellite system to monitor disaster and environment, which will be composed primarily of a meteorological satellite series, a resource satellite series, an ocean satellite series and a small-satellite constellation, capable of durable and stable operations with all-weather, all-time and high-temporal resolution features. China will continue to study the physical behavior of the solar-terrestrial system and carry on with the manned space flight project. The lunar orbiting flight project and deep space exploration will also be launched.
Mr. Chairman, space science and technology and their applications are infiltrating ever more deeply into the contemporary domains of human life and production, playing a significant role in the sustainable development of human society. Countries, especially the developing ones, have learned that the use of space technology and the enhancing of capacity for space applications could provide an effective way to expedite a country's economic and social development. As a developing space nation, China is willing to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation with the rest of the world in the field of space science and technology and their applications, and make its contributions to the sustainable social and economic development at both global and regional levels.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.