Commissioner Busquin welcomes China's first human space flight

October 17, 2003

Brussels, 16 October 2003

"I congratulate the People's Republic of China and the Chinese people for the success of their first human space flight," European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said today. "The successful launch and safe return of a Chinese astronaut represents an important event for space exploration. Human space flight is a dream for all of us and opens a new chapter for scientific and technical exploration of space. For the European Union, it still remains a goal to be achieved. This endeavour can bring nations together and opens up new opportunities for scientific and technological co-operation."

"The EU is currently developing a comprehensive space policy for the decades to come, in which international co-operation is an essential component," added Mr Busquin. "Until now the co-operation between EU programmes and the People's Republic of China has focused on remote sensing applications. The Chinese participation in the Galileo project marks an important step forward. But we also hope that this co-operation can be enlarged to include more projects in the future. I plan to visit the People's Republic of China soon and this will present a good opportunity to discuss further joint initiatives in this field."

For further information on EU space policy please visit:

http:///europa.eu.int/comm/space

DN: IP/03/1383 Date: 16/10/2003

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