China's manned space program of 'peaceful nature', says program leader

2023-10-25 Editor:Li Yan

China's manned space program has been of a peaceful nature since its first day and has never sought "space hegemony", according to a program leader.

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency, said at a news conference on Wednesday morning at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center that the country's manned space program is an important part of mankind's exploration and use of the outer space, and is solely intended for peaceful purposes.

"Our projects are meant to enrich humans' knowledge about the universe, expand the range of human presence and activities, and push forward the sustainable development of civilizations," the official said at the center in northwestern China's Gobi Desert.

Lin made the remarks when responding to a question on whether China plans to contest for "space hegemony" with the United States, as the US-led International Space Station is expected to end operations around 2030.

Since the Chinese program's establishment in 1992, it has grown based on predetermined strategies and plans, and has gradually led to the completion of the Tiangong space station, he said.

"Over this course we have never pursued 'space hegemony' and rather than that, we have consistently upheld the peaceful use of space," Lin said.

Recalling China's first crewed spaceflight, he said: "When Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut, to fly in space, reached orbit, he greeted people around the world and wrote in his work log that 'the Chinese people have now entered outer space for the peace and advancement of mankind'. He also displayed a United Nations flag, making China the first nation to carry a UN flag on its first manned mission."

Lin said China is open to international cooperation and communication on the Tiangong space station, ranging from joint flights to payload development.

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