China has announced it will open its space station project to all United Nation Member States who are willing to participate regardless of whether they have an existing space programme. Officials have said the China Space Station or CSS should be operational by 2022.
"Firstly, the cooperation will be open to all countries, regardless of their capabilities in outer space exploration. Secondly, it will be very inclusive, embracing governments, international organizations, private entities and research institutes and it will be carried out through the use of various means," said Shi Zhongjun, China's Ambassador to the UN at an event in Vienna.
The move by China has been seen by some as a jab at the US who excluded China from the International Space Station project. It also comes at a time where the United States and other participating countries are deciding when to end the ISS's mission.