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Subject Pakistan, China to undertake joint projects in Space Field
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Original Message By Ruth Chen 'Pakistan Times' Foreign Correspondent

BEIJING (China): Pakistan, China and some other regional countries are likely to complete legal and administrative work by the end of the year for undertaking joint projects of common interest in the field of space technology.

Informed sources said in Beijing that the projects will be evolved and implemented under a regional cooperation framework agreement. In this connection, the relevant countries are already in process of setting up Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). It aims at pushing forward their multilateral cooperation in space technology and its application in the region for peaceful purposes.

China's top legislature, National People's Congress (NPC) has recently showed its willingness to consider and approve a convention that will pave way formally setting space cooperation between Asia-Pacific nations.
Endorsing the convention will help improve China's space technology, broaden space services and categories of space products," said Zhang Yunchuan, minister in charge of the State Commission of Science, Technology
and Industry for National Defence.

Eight countries, including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Peru and Thailand signed the document last October in Beijing.

Turkey also signed the convention in June this year, making it the ninth member of the organization.

The APSCO, with its headquarters in Beijing, will be formally established after China receives approvals from at least five participating countries' parliaments.

Briefing lawmakers on the Standing Committee of the NPC on the convention, Zhang said "A prompt endorsement will urge other participating countries to pass the convention in parliament while encouraging other Asia-Pacific nations to join the group."

Chinese Vice Premier Huang Ju said in a statement that China would work closely with related countries to contribute to the peaceful use of outer space.

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 added.

Huang 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.

Pakistan and China played a pioneering role in establishing the organization, first of its kind to expand cooperation in space activities in the region.

Pakistan and China have also agreed to work out a plan to enhance cooperation at the bilateral level for the development of space technology.

The respective institutions of the two countries are in close contact to take benefit of their experience and know-how in the fields of earth, marine and space sciences and promote the application of relevant technologies in industry and agriculture.

The bilateral cooperation could span a broad spectrum of topics of mutual priority. The areas of cooperation may include climate science, clean energy technologies, clean water technologies, cyber-security, basic space, atmospheric and earth sciences and marine sciences, the sources added.

[link to www.pakistantimes.net]
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