China has hailed India’s success in positioning a satellite in the Martian orbit, calling the interplanetary triumph of the Mangalyaan as “the pride of Asia”.
Generous in her praise, Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokesperson said in response to a question: “This is pride of India and the pride of Asia, and landmark progress in humankind’s exploration of outer space so we congratulate India on that.”
Riding on the momentum generated by President Xi Jinping’s New Delhi visit, Ms. Hua did not rule out future cooperation with other countries, including India, in outer space. “We are willing to work with the world to peacefully develop outer space and make our contribution to sustainable development and long term peace of outer space,” she observed.
Earlier, People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese government posted a report on its website, which lauded India for making “history by becoming the first nation to successfully reach Mars on its first attempt”. It went on to quote Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying: “We have made it a habit of achieving the impossible. Humanity would not have progressed if we had not taken such leaps into the unknown and space is the biggest unknown out there."
According to an earlier report that appeared in Russia Today, China is planning to land a rover on Mars by 2020 and bring back samples from the Red Planet a decade later.