|Statement by Mr. Shang Zhen,Chinese Delegate,At the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly On Agenda Item 50 International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space|
Last June, the 56th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was successfully held in Vienna with a series of commemorative events to mark the 50th anniversary of the space travel by the world’s first female astronaut. The Chinese delegation wishes to offer its congratulations on the session’s fruitful outcome and express its appreciation to Mr. Yasushi Horikawa, Chairman of COPUOS, and Madam Othman, Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA).
The Chinese delegation wishes to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Madam Othman who is soon to retire. As an outstanding representative of women space scientists, she has led the secretariat in providing COPUOS with able assistance, actively implementing the UNISPACE III initiatives, taking forward a number of projects on space applications and training, and assisting developing countries in capacity-building, thereby making significant contributions to the space program.
It is the consistent view of the Chinese government that exploration and use of outer space should be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful use and common development, and that we should boost international exchanges and cooperation on space activities, promote the rule of law in outer space, maximize the benefit of space technological innovations and applications to serve the interests of all countries. The Chinese government is committed to peaceful uses of outer space and opposes outer space weaponization and arms race. China supports all parties in their efforts to strengthen the long-term sustainability of space activities, and maintains that the sustainable development of outer space should be characterized by fairness, harmony, collectivity and inclusiveness, and should be based on the rule of law.
Since last year, the Chinese government has made active efforts to deepen and expand international cooperation for peaceful uses of outer space. From September 23 to 27，2013, the 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2013), known as “Space Olympics”, was held in Beijing with 3,500 delegates from all over the world. The number of participants and space bureau chiefs topped all previous sessions. The Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao attended and addressed the opening ceremony. The world’s space experts, academics and government officials held extensive exchanges on space technology, application and cooperation.
As part of our effort to boost cooperation with other countries in the area of manned spaceflights and space stations, my government hosted the UN Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) Workshop in Beijing from September 16 to 20，2013, where issues like technological development, application projects, and international cooperation in the area of human space technology were discussed. From October 23 to 25 this year, a UN-SPIDER International Conference will be held in Beijing on Disaster Risk Identification, Assessment and Monitoring. All interested countries are welcome to attend.
In 2013, China proposed to the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the 56th COPOUS to establish a UN Asia-Pacific regional centre for space science and technology education at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics with a view to building a new platform for training and capacity-building for countries of the region, especially developing countries, so that they can share the benefit of space activities. This proposal received broad support and was endorsed by the plenary of the 56th COPOUS. In late September, OOSA, in coordination with interested countries, organized an assessment mission to the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Right now, China is working with OOSA to push ahead with preparations for the said center.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of the first space flight by a female astronaut, China's second female astronaut Ms. Wang Yaping flew into space aboard “Shenzhou 10” spacecraft, and inside “Tian Gong I” space station, she interacted directly with more than 60 million primary and secondary school students in China, conducting a unique teaching session from space and planting a space-exploring dream in the young hearts. China's first female astronaut Ms. Liu Yang was invited to attend the commemorative events in Vienna to share her personal experience of space flight. As a member of COPUOS and a developing space-faring nation, China hopes to see the dream of more female astronauts come true to contribute to the expansion of space exploration by mankind.
In the past year, the Chinese government signed space cooperation agreements or specific project cooperation agreements with more than 10 countries, laying a solid legal groundwork for international cooperation in such areas as satellite navigation, surveying and monitoring. China is ready to conduct cooperation and sign agreements to this effect with more countries in a common endeavor to expand peaceful uses of outer space. By October last year, China’s Beidou Satellite Navigation System has completed its Asia-Pacific group network with the capacity to provide navigation service to the region, and starting from late 2012, the system has begun to provide regular service to the region. China looks forward to furthering cooperation with all parties in the area of satellite navigation.
The Chinese government is ready to work with others in actively promoting space technology applications and vigorously pushing forward space development for the benefit of economic development and social progress of all countries. We are willing to do our part to advance the inclusive space development and to work tirelessly for an outer space of peace, harmony and rule of law.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.