Press Release

Space makes news at EU-China summit

By SpaceRef Editor
November 17, 2003
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Space makes news at EU-China summit

The new GALILEO Satellite Navigation Co-operation Agreement was on the agenda at the sixth summit meeting between China and the European Union on 30 October 2003 in Beijing. Chinese President Hu Jintao met European leaders, including current European Council President Silvio Berlusconi, European Commission President Romano Prodi and High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana.

Leaders at the summit briefed each other on developments in their respective regions and exchanged views on China-EU relations, specifically welcoming the signing of the GALILEO agreement. Considered a significant milestone in expanding EU-China relations, it opens the way to the participation of China in this highly strategic programme.

GALILEO aims to equip Europe with a worldwide system for satellite radionavigation and positioning. At present, only the United States and Russia have satellite radionavigation systems with global coverage.

Potential benefits

For the EU, bringing China into GALILEO means securing a huge potential market. Once operational, the GALILEO system will be managed privately as a purely commercial venture. A China equipped to GALILEO standards could, therefore, become an important economic partner for Europe.

The two sides also expressed satisfaction with progress in Sino-European scientific and technological co-operation and its expansion under the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6). Under FP6, Chinese research partners can, for the first time, participate in EU projects in all areas of scientific research, thanks to the EU-China Science and Technology Agreement.
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SpaceRef staff editor.