China, Pakistan sign deal on peaceful use of space
Global Times



A newly signed space exploration agreement between China and Pakistan on manned space missions manifests their more profound cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space, experts said.

The two countries signed the agreement Saturday in Beijing, marking that cooperation between the two neighbors in space exploration has entered a new phase, according to a statement issued by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Sunday. 

The agreement will serve as a high-level foundation for cooperation in space science and exploration. Both nations will conduct scientific and technological experiments, astronaut training, along with manned space applications and achievement transformation, said the CNSA statement. 

The CNSA and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission will establish a China-Pakistan space committee chaired by top officials from both sides to address future collaborative issues.

Since Pakistan is China's all-weather friend, China is willing to provide know-how to foster Pakistan's technological development on the use of outer space, Lan Jianxue, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday.

"China-Pakistan space cooperation will help Pakistan in terms of satellite monitoring of natural disasters and agricultural production, land and resources surveying, and waste handling in a microgravity environment," said Lan, adding that China will also benefit from the cooperation, including for commercial applications of space technology, investment security and counter-terrorism.

In 2018, China sent two Pakistan satellites into orbit. The PRSS-1, Pakistan's first optical remote sensing satellite, and the PakTES-1A, a smaller observation craft, were both lifted into space by China's Long March-2C carrier rocket.

The current agreement signifies that their cooperation is not limited to infrastructure and resources, it also concerns technology and innovation, Lan said.