China on Friday vowed to “safeguard outer space security” as it outlined its priorities in exploring the final frontier.
China is starting a new journey toward becoming a space power, and the industry will contribute more to China’s growth, global consensus and human progress, read a white paper published by the country’s State Council Information Office, China’s Space Programme: A 2021 Perspective.
“In the next five years, China will integrate space science, technology and applications while pursuing the new development philosophy, building a new development model and meeting the requirements for high-quality development,” it said.
The paper, China’s fifth since 2016, said the global space industry “has entered a new stage of rapid development and profound transformation that will have a major and far-reaching impact on human society.”
“At this new historical start towards a modern socialist country, China will accelerate work on its space industry. Guided by the concept of a global community of shared future, it will work actively with other countries to carry out international space exchanges and cooperation, safeguard outer space security, and strive for long-term sustainability in activities related to outer space,” it said.
The paper highlighted the “rapid and innovative progress” made by China’s space industry since 2016, such as improving its space infrastructure, operationalising its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, and completing a high-resolution Earth observation system.
The paper also detailed improvements in China’s satellite communications and broadcasting systems, progress on the three-step lunar exploration programme and voyages of its space missions, including Tianwen-1, as well as ongoing work on its space station.
It said China has coordinated the development of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System with the US’ Global Positioning System, Russia’s GLONASS system, and Europe’s Galileo system.
“It has carried out in-depth cooperation with them in the fields of compatibility, interoperability, monitoring and assessment, and joint application,” the paper said.
Over the past five years, Beijing has inked 46 space cooperation agreements or memoranda of understanding with 19 countries and regions and four international organizations, according to the document.
“It has actively promoted global governance of outer space, and carried out international cooperation in space science, technology and application through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. These measures have yielded fruitful results,” the paper said.
China has built satellite research and development infrastructure with countries including Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria.
“It has pressed ahead with the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative Space Information Corridor, and opened China’s space facilities to developing countries,” it said.
“It will give priority to developing communications satellites for Pakistan and to cooperating on the construction of the Pakistan Space Centre and Egypt’s Space City.”