156 Yun Zhao
The International Space Station (ISS), an excellent example of multilateral space
cooperation, is the largest and most complex manned space cooperative project in
the human history.ermanently manned multi-use facility in low Earth orbit (LEO)
The Partner States contribute
in the ISS. Various researchers have indicated the importance of the ISS in not only
development of space laws.
China has made great achievements in space activities in recent years. It has
developed a concrete plan for space exploration in order to build national space
station by 2020.
While emphasizing the principle of self-independence, China also
acknowledges the importance of space cooperation.
Bilaterally, China has reached
cooperation agreements with many countries; multilaterally, China hosts the Asia-
Since 2001, China has indicated its interest in joining the ISS.
United States vetoed Chinas participation early on, Chinas rapid technological
development and international cooperation with regard to outer space activities have
led to increased cooperation between the two countries. President Barak Obamas
visit to China in 2009 resulted in a press release announcing Chinese-American
Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA)
also indicated its support for Chinas inclusion in the ISS.
All these positive
1 L. Myers, The International Space Station: Canada’s Involvement, available at http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/
Collection-R/LoPBdP/CIR/875-e.htm (last visited on Apr. 6, 2013).
2 The Intergovernmental Agreement for the International Space Station was considered the latest space law treaties
to enter into force. See C. Petras, “Space Force Alpha”: Military Use of the International Space Station and the
Concept of “Peaceful Purposes,” 53 A. F. L. REV. 160 (2002).
3 See China Planning Space Station Launch in 2010, Redorbit (Oct. 27, 2010), available at http://www.redorbit.com/
news/space/1938804/china_planning_space_station_launch_in_2020 (last visited on Apr. 6, 2013).
4 INFORMATION OFFICE OF THE STATE COUNCIL OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, CHINA’S SPACE ACTIVITIES IN 2006 (2006).
5 See the official website of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization, available at http://www.apsco.int (last
visited on Apr. 9, 2013).
6 Staff Writer, China Eyes Entry to ISS Project, SPACE DAILY, May 1, 2001, available at http://www.spacedaily.com/news/
china-01zd.html (last visited on Apr. 6, 2003). See also C. Covault, China Seeks ISS role, Accelerates Space Program,
155(20) CHINESE SPACE POWER 52 (2001).
7 See A China-USA Space Co-operation Programmes?, ENJOY SPACE, Nov. 18, 2009, available at http://www.enjoyspace.
com/en/news/a-china-usa-space-co-operation-programme (last visited on Apr. 6, 2013).
8 Staff Writer, China May Become Space Station Partner, SPACE TRAVEL, Jun. 2, 2010, available at http://www.space-travel.
com/reports/China_May_Become_Space_Station_Partner_999.html (last visited on Apr. 6, 2013).