BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on Monday called for peaceful exploration and use of space so as to serve the interests of people and countries all over the world.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2013), Li said space resources are the common wealth of mankind, and various countries enjoy equal rights to use such resources.
It would be a blessing for mankind if space technologies are used for peace; if they are used for war, it would be a human disaster, he said.
China is willing to share experiences with other countries in using space technologies to boost economic development, according to the vice president.
Adhering to the concept of cooperative space exploration, China will boost international exchanges and cooperation so as to achieve peaceful use of space and common development of humankind, he vowed.
The conference is scheduled to run from Sept. 23 to 27.
With its theme "Promoting Space Development for the Benefits of Mankind," the event has attracted around 3,600 people including leading space scientists, academics, researchers, industry and commerce executives, students and young professionals from 74 countries and regions.
The IAC, organized by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), is the largest space-related conference world-wide. China hosted the 47th IAC in Beijing in 1996.
A record total of 3,600 scientific papers were submitted to the IAC this year. A total of 318 papers will be presented on posters, among which 217 are from China.
On Monday's opening ceremony, the IAF presented the Allan D. Emil Memorial Award to Ma Xingrui, head of China National Space Administration for his contribution to international cooperation of space technology. Ed Stone, project scientist for U.S. space agency NASA's Voyager mission, received the IAF World Space Award for his exceptional merits in space science and technology.