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EU and China in space cooperation

16 October, 2003

EU and China in space cooperation

With China set to blasting its first astronaut into orbit yesterday, the European Union has invited China to take part in GALILEO - Europe’s satellite radionavigation program. The agreement opens the way for China to take a substantial role in the program and activities pursued by the European Space Agency.

Initialled in Beijing in September, the agreement is the result of months of talks between the two parties, and means China will be able to actively participate in the construction and application of the system.

“China will help GALILEO become the major world infrastructure for the growing market in location services,” said Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the program.

The draft agreement will subsequently be signed at the forthcoming EU-China Summit on 30 October 2003.

The agreement will provide for co-operative activities on satellite navigation and timing in a wide range of sectors, like science and technology, industrial manufacturing and service and market development.

The China-Europe Global Navigation Satellite System Technical Training and Cooperation Centre (CENC) has also been established in Beijing's Zhongguancun Hi-Tech Zone. The Centre will serve as a focal point for all activities on GALILEO - international experts will be invited for lectures on the technical and commercial aspects of satellite navigation, with special attention given to development of applications.

European industry is eager to collaborate with China in this field, and the CENC is a critical tool to encourage ventures and other industrial collaborative activities. Several European companies are planning to invite Chinese partners to join forces to submit proposals for developing the application market for GALILEO during the next few years.

For more details on EU-China Science and Technology co-operation:

http://www.delchn.cec.eu.int/

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