img0

The China-Arab States BDS/GNSS Center, the first overseas center for China's indigenous BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), is officially inaugurated in Tunisia on April 11, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will promote international space cooperation to contribute to sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, a senior official with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said on Wednesday.

"China is to build a new type of cooperative and win-win relationship with other space agencies and international organizations around the world, to jointly enhance the role of space industries in facilitating sustainable development," said CNSA deputy director Wu Yanhua at the United Nations/China Forum on Space Solutions: Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the years, the use of space has been recognized as one of the key components to successfully achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN, according to Simonetta Di Pippo, director of United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

In order to quantify the impact, a dedicated study was published in early 2018 and shows that around 40 percent of the 169 targets underpinning the 17 SDGs benefit from the use of geo-location and earth observation satellites, said Simonetta at the forum.

Committed to better service for countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, especially developing countries, China is constructing a space information corridor and sharing satellite resources, according to Wu.

"China's earth observation satellites have actively supported the construction of the Belt and Road spatial information corridor, vigorously developed space international cooperation," said Wang Cheng, a researcher from the CNSA.

FY-2H, the meteorological satellite located over the Indian Ocean, can fill the observation gap and provide weather monitoring service to countries along the Belt and Road, said Tang Shihao from China Meteorological Administration.

The unique strength of satellites in supporting telemedicine, epidemic prevention and control, and distance education, social security services can be improved, Wu said.

Independently constructed and operated by China, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System has been widely used in many countries and regions. "The system started to provide RNSS (Radio Navigation Satellite System) services worldwide last December," said Gao Weiguang from China Satellite Navigation Project Center.

Wu Yanhua said that China was developing a space economy and supporting commercial space development by pushing forward the commercialization of space technologies.

As the provider of Long March launch services, the China Great Wall Industry corporation (CGWIC) has performed 48 dedicated launch services and 17 piggyback launch services for international clients with high successful rate and competitive pricing, according to Zhou Yuanying from CGWIC.

Wu said that China would undertake monitoring and research of global climate change by taking advantage of satellites, to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

By pushing forward international space cooperation, China is also committed to joint efforts to tackle contemporary issues with global impact including poverty, hunger, natural disasters and environmental pollution, Wu added.

Many countries, in particular developing countries, need to make the best possible use of space assets to support the SDGs. At the same time, a lot of space agencies and companies are struggling to find partners/users to which they can offer their particular space solutions, Simonetta said.

"This Forum will build on previous UN workshops and symposiums to provide a unique platform for users and space solution providers to forge partnerships and thus contribute concretely to the achievement of the SDGs." Simonetta said.

Also on Wednesday, the CNSA inked agreements on space cooperation seperately with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Turkey, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

Since 2016, China has set April 24 as the country's Space Day. Activities on Space Day have become a window for the Chinese public and the world to gain a better understanding of China's aerospace progress.

The theme this year is to "pursue space dreams for win-win cooperation."