06 February 2018. On 31 January 2018 ESPI hosted an evening event on the topic of “China Engages: Opportunities and Prospects for the International Space Community” jointly organised with the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
Guest speakers at this well-attended event outlined some of the key missions and programmes in which China is currently engaging with the international space community, whilst highlighting the growing need for international collaboration and the potential areas for future progress towards mutual interests in space. While restraints exist, speakers were optimistic about what has already, and what can be, done alongside China as it emerges as one of the world’s leading space nations.
A welcoming address and some introductory comments were given by ESPI Director Jean-Jacques Tortora and Guoping Li of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), followed by valuable contributions presented by distinguished speakers representing the CNSA, the National Space Science Centre, the U.S. Department of State and the European Space Agency.
Ms. Hui Jiang, Division Director of the China National Space Administration, emphasized how China’s previous national interest in regards to the space sector is increasingly being opened up to include the international community. The success of current internationally inclusive Chinese space activities were highlighted alongside the promising prospects of governmental and commercial mechanisms to ensure future space cooperation.
Prof. Chi Wang, Director General of the National Space Science Centre, gave an overview of three categories of Chinese space endeavours concerning space science, space technology and space exploration, conveying confidence and positivity for future space missions in collaboration with international partners.
Mr. Kenneth Hodgkins, Director of the Office of Space and Advanced Technologies for the U.S. Department of State, discussed the substantial progress being made alongside China despite certain complications, underlining crucial areas for policy dialogue and cooperation like human safety in space and global navigation systems in which considerable progress has already been made.
Mr. Karl Berquist, Policy Officer for the International Relations Department of the European Space Agency, outlined ESA-China relations over the past 40 years, listing a number of successful joint programmes and concluding the need for continued cooperation towards mutual interests.
The presentations of this full-house event were followed by a brief audience-led discussion moderated by ESPI Director Jean-Jacques Tortora.