China and Arab countries want to cooperate in space

On December 9, 2021, the first China Gulf Cooperation Council (Gulf Cooperation Council), a conference at which China and a number of Gulf countries discussed how they could work more closely together in the future. Close cooperation in space is one of the main issues discussed.

Why is this important?

During the 20th century, the race for space was between the two superpowers of the time: the United States and the Soviet Union. Today is not so simple. After all, a number of countries, as well as companies, have them Ever greater ambitions in space.

the essence: China wants to cooperate more closely in space with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is perhaps the most prominent speaker at the event in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, said during Speech That “China is ready to cooperate with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
  • This cooperation will cover nearly every aspect of space travel, such as “remote sensing and communication satellites, space exploitation, space infrastructure construction, and astronaut selection and training.”
  • China will also be willing to host astronauts from the GCC countries on its newly launched space station Tiangong. That station has been built in orbit for the past two years and has been completed since November. So far, only Chinese astronauts have entered the station.
  • Finally, China says it is open to future moon missions with the GCC. Joint “deep space exploration” is also a possibility.

There are no concrete agreements yet

But: Although President Xi indicated that he is very ambitious, no concrete agreements were reached during the conference.

  • So far, China has almost built a space program from the ground up. The country only launched an astronaut into space for the first time in 2003.
  • So far, the country has no experience in training astronauts in languages ​​other than Chinese. It is not yet clear how concretely this will happen.
  • However, the country has long spoken of its interest in cooperating with other nations. CAST, the Chinese space agency, may consider using the Tiangong station expandedso that it can accommodate more astronauts.
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