BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) formally started operation here Tuesday, 16 years after the idea was put forward.
The APSCO, headquartered in Beijing, now has seven member states, China, Bangladesh, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand. Indonesia and Turkey also signed the APSCO convention, said a statement issued after the founding ceremony.
The organization aims to promote the multilateral cooperation in space science and technology. Its members will work together in development and research, space technology application and training of space experts, the statement said.
"China will give active support to the APSCO and work with other countries for better exchanges and cooperation in peaceful development of outer space among Asian-Pacific countries," said Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang in a congratulation letter to the APSCO.
The idea of founding an organization like this was put forward by China, Thailand and Pakistan in 1992 and the preparation started in 2001.
In 2005, the APSCO convention was signed in Beijing.
Representatives from Argentina, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia and Sri Lanka also attended the founding ceremony.