June 25, 2018

Prime Minister’s official visit to People’s Republic of China - CNES and CNSA sign first agreement to implement Space Climate Observatory (SCO)

On the occasion of the Prime Minister’s official visit to the People’s Republic of China from Friday 22 to Monday 25 June, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall held a first meeting with Zhang Kejian, the new Administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Monday 25 June in Beijing, the two agency heads signed in the presence of the Prime Minister and his Chinese counterpart a specific agreement on implementing the Space Climate Observatory (SCO).

This new agreement consolidates space cooperation between France and China and provides for new bilateral activities revolving around the SCO, the inception of which was announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris on 12 December 2017. The SCO’s goal is to pool climate data acquired from space and make them readily available to the international scientific community.

Space relations between France and the People’s Republic of China began with an intergovernmental agreement in 1997 on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space. CNES and CNSA pursued their ties with the signature on 9 January this year during President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China of a memorandum of understanding. Designed to extend the agencies’ cooperation on space-based climate monitoring, this memorandum affirmed in particular China’s support for efforts tackling climate change.

After the signature, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “The agreement we have just signed with CNSA is the symbol of our solid and longstanding cooperation with China and marks a great step forward in implementing the SCO, a challenge to which I attach special importance. 2018 is proving a prolific year for our partnership, with the launch of the CFOSat ocean-surveying satellite this autumn, and I very much look forward to seeing our Chinese partners this week in Toulouse, where China will be guest of honour at the Toulouse Space Show.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr