Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory letter to a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country's aerospace industry on Friday morning.
Hu said that the aerospace industry is a significant symbol of the nation's strength. We have made great achievements including developing the nuclear bomb, missiles, artificial satellites and manned space flights, and have established an independent and complete system for the aerospace industry and scientific research, said the President.
As the country's economic and social development progresses, there are bright prospects for China's aerospace industry, he said.
Premier Wen Jiabao, who was present at the meeting, said that the successes of the Shenzhou V and Shenzhou VI manned space flights had realized the dreams of the Chinese people and marked another milestone in the history of China's aerospace cause.
The development of China's aerospace industry has been based on self-reliance and innovation, he said.
Wen emphasized that more efforts should be made in scientific research and innovation for the benefit of the aerospace industry. China should strengthen its basic research ability and the education of trained personnel, he added.
He also called for more international communication and cooperation in the aerospace field.
On Oct. 15 and 16, 2003, China launched and retrieved Shenzhou V, China's first manned spacecraft, becoming the third country in the world to conduct a manned space flight independently.
From Oct. 12 to 17, 2005, the Shenzhou VI manned spacecraft completed a five-day flight with two astronauts on board carrying out space-based experiments.
(Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2006)