President Jiang Zemin watched the launch of spacecraft Monday night at the launch centre in Northwest China's Gansu Province.
At the launch site, Jiang extended his congratulations to scientists and technologists, as well as servicemen of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
After watching the lift-off, Jiang said the successful launch showed the Chinese people's spirit of constantly striving to become stronger.
Jiang said the CPC Central Committee decided to carry out the manned space programme a decade ago.
The Chinese-made "Long March" carrier rockets and "Shenzhou" spaceships represented the country's scientific and technological achievements, he said.
China has established a spaceship application system, a state-of-the-art space launch site, a spaceship monitoring and controlling network and a spaceship landing system, as well as a group of astronauts, Jiang said.
"The successful launches of three Shenzhou spaceships takes thecountry to new heights of space science and technology," Jiang said.
Achievements in space science and technology would greatly spureconomic development, scientific advancement and the modernizationof national defense, Jiang said.
Jiang encouraged the scientists and technologists to further upgrade the country's scientific and technological level and improve national might.
Among those who accompanied Jiang Zemin at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center included Wu Bangguo, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice-premier, Zeng Qinghong, alternate member of the Political Bureau and memberof the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, Yu Yongbo, memberof the Central Military Commission and director of the PLA GeneralPolitical Department, and Cao Gangchuan, member of the Central Military Commission and director of the PLA General Armament Department.
In November, 1999, Chinese President Jiang Zemin wrote the inscription "Shenzhou" for the country's first test spacecraft which successfully completed its flight.
Source: People's Daily - unedited from PD's English translation.
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Shenzhou Program Enjoys Growing Political Support
by Morris Jones
Sydney - Jan. 12, 2000
After a lengthy delay and a regular series of false starts, China has finally moved ahead with its enigmatic Shenzhou program. At the time of writing, the Shenzhou 2 vehicle is orbiting the Earth, awaiting a return to Earth at an unspecified time. Many questions are being raised about this second vehicle, but after waiting so long for this mission to take place, the most obvious question that could be raised is why China decided to launch now.
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