President Hu Jintao hailed China's success in putting its first manned spacecraft into orbit Wednesday, calling it "the glory of our great motherland and a mark of the initial victory of the country's first manned space flight and for the significant, historic step of the Chinese people in the advance of climbing the peak of the world's science and technology."
The Party and the people will never forget those who have set up the Motherland's space industry with outstanding merit, or the people and the nation, said Hu, who is also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
China's first piloted spacecraft Shenzhou V was launched at 9:00 am and moved into orbit at about 9:10, carrying Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei to become the first Chinese astronaut in space.
The president and other senior officials including Huang Ju and Wu Guanzheng hurried to the Jiuquan Space Launch Center, in the remote Gobi desert, shortly after the conclusion of the Third Plenary Session of the Sixteenth CPC Central Committee Tuesday afternoon. The same night, they heard reports about the preparation for the historic launch.
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2003)