Brussels, 02 Apr 2004
European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will visit China 6-11 April 2004 to discuss a range of research issues and co-operation in space. Accompanied by a delegation of high-level European space representatives, Busquin will propose to launch an EU-China dialogue on space co-operation including ESA and national space agencies.
The European Union and the People's Republic of China have already expressed their mutual willingness to strengthen co-operation in space activities. Under a September 2003 agreement, China can now participate in the highly strategic GALILEO Programme, a move welcomed by European and Chinese leaders at the EU-China Summit the following month.
The two sides have also expressed satisfaction with progress in Sino-European scientific and technological co-operation, including participation in the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Under FP6, Chinese research partners can take part, for the first time, in EU-funded projects in all areas of scientific research.
During his April 2004 trip, Commissioner Busquin will meet with representatives of the Chinese government administrations, research institutes and leading industrial actors. The overall objective of the visit will be to exchange views with Chinese counterparts on the current state of co-operation in the space sector and on areas that can support further collaboration, including opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
New dialogue to be proposed
The Commissioner also intends to propose the setting-up of a dialogue whose objective would be to facilitate and carry forward China-EU space exchange and foster continued co-operation in the space sector.
The dialogue would help identify areas of mutual interest and promote concrete joint actions, in compliance with the objectives of their respective White Paper on Space.