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China, EU Launch Space Partnership

China and the European Union (EU) signed an agreement Thursday in Beijing on China's participation in the Galileo Program, a European global system of satellite navigation.


"China will help Galileo become a major world infrastructure in the growing market for location services," said Loyola de Palacio, vice-president of the European Commission, who leads the Galileo Program.


Xu Guanhua, minister of the Science and Technology, said China will support and participate in the construction of the Galileo Program, believing the effort will bring mutual benefits to Sino-European ties.


The agreement highlights cooperative activities on satellite navigation in a range of sectors such as science and technology, industrial manufacturing, service and market development.


A China-Europe technical training and cooperation center on global satellite navigation will begin today in Beijing's Zhongguancun High-Tech Zone to serve as a local center for the Galileo Program.


The project is a European satellite radio navigation effort designed to develop new generations of universal services in areas such as transport, telecommunication, agriculture and fisheries. The combination of the program with current systems will increase the reliability and availability of navigation, its designers say.


(China Daily September 19, 2003)


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