Beijing, Mar. 3. -China plans to increase space research in the next five years as part of a program that includes building its own manned space station with peaceful purposes.
As part of working toward that goal, China expects to carry out over 20 space missions in 2011, compared to 16 staged in 2010, said Qi Faren, former chief designer of Shenzhou spacecraft and member of the 11th National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Qi's statements to reporters were made prior to the opening of the CPPCC annual session to begin on Thursday.
The Asian nation seeks to increase its capacity for space research, earth observation, and information technology from 2011 to 2015, as well as to achieve important advances in innovation and development in those fields in order to meet the country's needs.
China also plans international cooperation in manned space programs and the participation of foreign astronauts and scientists in its future space station.(prensa Latina)