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'China values cooperation in aerospace industry'

Cooperation in the aerospace industry is pivotal to astronautic development, as it helps eliminate distrust and fosters mutual confidence among countries, said Romania's first astronaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, who recently returned from the 21st International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Human in Space Symposium in China's southern city of Shenzhen.

AP Photo

"Only cooperation in various fields, including in space, can make nations know each other better and remove any traces of suspicion and build mutual trust." 

As the former president of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), Prunariu praised China's efforts in promoting space cooperation in an interview with Xinhua. 

"After the Belt and Road Initiative, I think China has a Galactic Initiative in mind. It has invited all developing nations to conduct experiments on its space station planned to operate into orbit in 2022."

"In 2022, China will have its own space station, and it is currently encouraging all developing countries to take part in space exploration programs for the benefit of mankind," he added.

In 2016, China signed with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) an agreement to open the country's future space station for science experiments and foreign astronauts to herald better accessibility to space for developing countries.

According to Prunariu, the move for China is "to ensure national security and to gain its place, prestige and recognition on the global stage as a strong nation with a developing space industry and a high level of technology." At the same time, it proves “that China considers the UN as highly important in international cooperation," which is the first time in the history of the United Nations (UN), said Prunariu.

"China is strikingly advanced in space activities and has been focusing on manned flights," he said, adding that "time has shown that China is promoting space activities and is open to developing space projects as well as advanced science and technology."