To celebrate the 50th anniversary of China-Belgium diplomatic relations and promote S&T exchanges and cooperation in the field of space between the two sides, the China-Belgium Symposium on Space Sci-Tech Cooperation, sponsored by the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and organized by the Chinese Society of Astronautics, was successfully held on October 20, 2021. The symposium was held online and offline, with the offline main venue set in Beijing. Zhao Jing, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and Justine Colognesi, Chief Representative of Wallonia-Brussels International in China, attended and addressed the meeting. Wang Yiran, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Chinese Society of Astronautics, presided over the meeting.
Deputy Director-General Zhao Jing said in her speech that to explore the vast universe is a dream shared by all humans. As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that China calls on countries to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind and deepen international exchange and cooperation in the field of outer space on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, peaceful use and inclusive development. China and Belgium have all along maintained close relations of S&T cooperation, carried out sustained S&T cooperation in the field of aerospace, jointly supported research projects and achieved positive progress. It is hoped that the symposium will build a platform for exchange and discussion between the two countries’ space experts and scholars, and that the two sides will take the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to further deepen STI cooperation in space and other fields, and make new and greater contribution to improving the welfare of humanity.
Chief Representative Justine Colognesi said that Wallonia-Brussels International and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology have maintained close cooperation for more than 20 years. Space has always been a key area of cooperation between the two countries, and one of the five priority areas jointly funded by the two sides in recent years. Strengthening international S&T cooperation in space and other fields is of great significance for countries to tackle global challenges together, and it is hoped that the two sides could further deepen exchanges and cooperation through this meeting.
More than 70 people attended the conference, including representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium and the Belgian Embassy in China, as well as space experts and scholars from research institutions and universities in both countries.
The symposium provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion on issues concerning space science and technology that are of interest to both countries, and built a platform for key innovation players in the space field to conduct technology exchanges, share experience in S&T cooperation and explore cooperation models for the future.