Seven Asia-Pacific nations, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, on Friday teamed up with emerging space giant, China, and signed a convention on space cooperation to set up a formal organisation.
The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation (Apsco), an international governmental organisation with its headquarters in Beijing, aims to promote multilateral cooperation in space technology and its application in the region.
The eight nations are Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand. Representatives from Argentina, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine also attended the signing ceremony of the Apsco convention.
The Apsco will be officially set up in Beijing after China receives final approval from at least five participating countries, Xinhua news agency reported.
While meeting with the representatives, Chinese Vice Premier Huang Ju said China will work closely with related countries to contribute to the peaceful use of outer space.
China has always regarded space development as an important part of its national strategy.
Earlier this month, China successfully launched the Shenzhou-6 manned spacecraft, which marked major progress in China's space exploration, Mr Huang said.
China attaches great importance to carrying out extensive and close multilateral cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and has done a lot to promote the establishment of the Apsco, he said.
The formation of the Apsco will be beneficial to further exchanges and cooperation in space technology and its application and promoting economic and social development, and common prosperity, in the region, he said.
Mr Huang welcomed more Asia-Pacific nations to join the organisation and hoped the countries could, take the Apsco as a platform to carry out space cooperation to make people benefit from space technology and its application. China, Thailand and Pakistan had proposed to set up the Apsco in 1992.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International