China issued a white paper on the country's space program on Friday.
The white paper was published by the State Council Information Office of China.
Titled "China's Space Program: A 2021 Perspective," the white paper introduces China's purposes, principles, policies and measures, and cooperative mindset in its space exploration. It summarizes China's achievements in space science, space technology and space application.
"The space industry is a critical element of the overall national strategy, and China upholds the principle of exploration and utilization of outer space for peaceful purposes," the paper says.
The major achievements in China's space industry since 2016 include a steady improvement in space infrastructure, the completion and operation of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), the completion of the high-resolution Earth observation system, steady improvement of the service ability of satellite communications and broadcasting, the conclusion of the last step of the three-step lunar exploration program, the first stages in building the space station, as well as Tianwen-1's landing and exploration of Mars, according to the paper.
It lays out key space areas China plans to focus on in the upcoming five years, concerning the space transport system, space infrastructure, manned spaceflight, deep space exploration, space launch sites and telemetry, tracking and command, experiments on new technologies, and space environment governance.
China is ready to explore the moon's polar regions and is mulling over a manned lunar landing. The country also vows to improve space debris monitoring and expand the space environment governance system with a near-Earth object defense system and space-ground space climate monitoring system planned, according to the paper.
The country will further boost public services with satellites and expand space application industry.
It will continue with the research on space science, including the research and development of the satellite for space gravitational wave detection, the Einstein probe satellite, and the advanced space-based solar observatory.
Meanwhile, the white paper notes that China calls on all countries to carry out in-depth exchanges and cooperation in outer space on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, peaceful utilization, and inclusive development.
More cooperation in astronaut selection and training, joint flights and other fields will take place between China and foreign countries. China will strengthen cooperation in international lunar research station project, it says.
It is the country's fifth white paper on space activities. China issued white paper on space activities in 2000, 2006, 2011, and 2016.