Backgrounder: Xi Jinping's vision for China's space development
BEIJING, China marked its second Space Day on Monday. Here are key remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping that shed light on his vision for China's space dream.
-- On June 11, 2013, Xi attended a see-off ceremony for Chinese astronauts of the Shenzhou-10 space mission at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
"The mission's crew members carry the space dream of the Chinese nation and represent the lofty aspirations of the Chinese people to explore space," said Xi.
When meeting with representatives participating in the mission later that day, after the spacecraft's successful launch, Xi said, "Developing the space program and turning the country into a space power is the space dream that we have continuously pursued."
-- On June 24, 2013, Xi made a video call at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center to the three Shenzhou-10 astronauts aboard the orbiting space module Tiangong-1.
"The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger. With the development of space programs, the Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into space," he said.
-- On July 26, 2013, Xi met astronauts and scientists who participated in the Shenzhou-10 mission.
The mission marked the perfect finish of the first phase of the second step of China's manned space programs, Xi said, adding that China's space technology has reached an international advanced level.
-- On Jan. 6, 2014, Xi met with space scientists and engineers who participated in the Chang'e-3 mission. The Chang'e-3 lunar probe, named "Yutu," soft-landed on the moon on Dec. 14, 2013, making China the third country to carry out such a mission after the United States and the Soviet Union.
Describing innovation as "the soul of a people and the source for a country's prosperity," Xi said the Chang'e-3 mission was "'China-made' in every sense of the phrase" and the result of independent innovation.
"As we made 'Yutu' lay its prints on the moon, we also imprinted the extraordinary creativity of the Chinese nation onto the history of the human civilization," Xi said.
-- On April 24, 2016, in an instruction on China's first Space Day, Xi encouraged the country's aerospace scientists and engineers to usher in a new chapter in aerospace development.
"Exploring the vast universe, developing space programs and becoming an aerospace power have always been the dream we've been striving for," Xi said.
Xi asked space scientists and engineers to "seize the strategic opportunity and keep innovating to make a greater contribution to the country's overall growth and the welfare of mankind."
-- On Oct. 17, 2016, Xi sent a message of congratulations for the successful launch of the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft.
The mission of the orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 and the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft marked the first time that Chinese astronauts would stay in orbit for a medium-length term, Xi said.
He noted that space science and application tasks representing the frontier of science and the future of high technology would be conducted during the mission, showing that China's manned space program has registered new and significant progress.
-- On Dec. 20, 2016, Xi met with astronauts and others involved in research and testing for the Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 space missions.
"The universe is vast and exploration of it will never end," Xi said.
Space is an important field of scientific and technological progress and innovation, Xi said, adding that achievements in this regard are also important symbols of a country's scientific and technological strength.