A Chinese communications satellite was launched for Belarus from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province on Saturday. It was the first time that China launched a satellite for a European country.
The Belintersat-1 was built by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. with a designed life of 15 years. The satellite, which will be operated by Belarus, will contribute to improving radio, television and Internet services in the Eastern European nation and its neighboring regions.
The launch of the Long March 3B rocket, which carried the satellite, was China’s first space mission of 2016, a year that will see more than 20 Chinese space projects.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated each other on the successful launch of the telecom satellite.President Xi hailed the launch of the Belintersat-1 as a testament to the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and an important achievement of bilateral space cooperation. It is believed the satellite will help bolster Belarus’ economic growth and bring other benefits to the country.
Xi also said that China is willing to join forces with Belarus to boost innovation in various fields and push Sino-Belarusian relations to higher levels. Echoing President Xi, President Lukashenko lauded the satellite’s launch as a landmark achievement between the two countries, saying China’s achievements in space technology has great significance for his country’s politics, economy, society and innovation.
He said he hopes China would continue to achieve greater breakthroughs in the fields of space, technology and communications, which will be beneficial to all of humanity.