China will become a world space power by 2045 in an all-round way, catching up with the US in some key aerospace projects, a space expert vowed on the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China as an echo to the strategic goal on aerospace capabilities put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In a report delivered to the 19th CPC National Congress on Wednesday, Xi called on the country to strengthen basic research in applied sciences, launch major national science and technology projects and prioritize innovation in key generic technologies, cutting-edge frontier technologies, modern engineering technologies and disruptive technologies.
Jing Haipeng (center), the astronaut who has been on three Chinese space missions and a delegate at the 19th National Congress of the CPC, meets the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18. (Photo: China Military website)
“These efforts will provide powerful support for building China’s strength in science and technology, product quality, aerospace, cyberspace and transportation, and for building a digital China and a smart society,” Xi said.
Nineteen CPC delegates received interview at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday morning, just before the opening session. It is the first time the Party Congress has had this arrangement.
Jing Haipeng, the astronaut who has been on three space missions, became the first delegates to meet the press.
"I am training with colleagues in preparation for the space station mission, a glorious mission the country and the people entrust us," Jing said, adding that he is really eager to go to space one more time.
CPC delegate Lei Fanpei, chairman of China Aerospace and Technology Corporation, said by the end of 2020, China will put more than 200 spacecraft into orbit with an average of 30 launches a year.
The country will surpass the EU in terms of aerospace capabilities and become a world space power by then, Lei said on the sidelines of the Congress on Wednesday.
According to Lei, 30 percent of China’s aerospace technical indicators have reached a world-class level. That figure is expected to double to 60 percent by 2030, which would take China above Russia to become a space power second only to the US.
He disclosed that by 2045, China will catch up with the US in some key aerospace projects and become a world space power.
Next step, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) will build the country’s first space station by conquering major tasks in high-tech engineering and special scientific projects, Lei said. His company also plans to collect lunar soil samples, explore Mars and construct a global navigation satellite system and a high-resolution Earth observation system.
It will also continue its research and development of heavy-load rocket carriers and build civilian space satellite systems for communication, navigation and remote sensing in a bid to strengthen the country’s capabilities in space explorations and applications, said the delegate.
To help improve the country’s strategic deterrence capabilities and consolidate the cornerstone for the country’s strategic security, CASC will contribute more to building the country into a strong innovation-driven space power, Lei said.
(From People’s Daily, October 22, 2017. Bai Yang contributes.)