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China, Pakistan sign agreement on space cooperation, manned missions

The official statement by China National Space Administration (CNSA) did not share details about the agreement but added that Beijing will help develop Islamabad’s space technology.

world Updated: Apr 29, 2019 22:32 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China,Pakistan,Space cooperation agreement
The agreement was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan who was in Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

China and Pakistan have signed an agreement on joint space exploration including manned missions, state media reported late on Monday, adding that the agreement marks a new phase of cooperation between the two “all weather” allies.

The agreement between China and Pakistan was signed in Beijing over the weekend, according to a brief statement released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and quoted by the nationalistic tabloid, Global Times.

It was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan who was in Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

“The two countries signed the agreement Saturday in Beijing, marking that cooperation between the two neighbors in space exploration has entered a new phase,” the CNSA statement added.

Also read: Pakistan began space programme 8 years before India, but ISRO is galaxies ahead now

The official statement did not share details about the agreement but added that Beijing will help develop Islamabad’s space technology.

“The agreement will serve as a high-level foundation for cooperation in space science and exploration. Both nations will conduct scientific and technological experiments, astronaut training, along with manned space applications and achievement transformation,” said the CNSA statement.

“The CNSA and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission will establish a China-Pakistan space committee chaired by top officials from both sides to address future collaborative issues,” it added.

The news report said that China sent two Pakistan satellites into orbit in 2018.

“The PRSS-1, Pakistan’s first optical remote sensing satellite, and the PakTES-1A, a smaller observation craft were both lifted into space by China’s Long March-2C carrier rocket,” the report added.

Since Pakistan is China’s all-weather friend, China is willing to provide know-how to foster Pakistan’s technological development on the use of outer space, Lan Jianxue, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday.

The current agreement signifies that their cooperation is not limited to infrastructure and resources, it also concerns technology and innovation, Lan told the tabloid.

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 22:32 IST