Leaders and officials from various countries have extended their congratulations on China's successful launch of its first manned spacecraft.
Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro called the launch of the Shenzhou-5 "a great feat" and said it showed China's space science and technology has reached a very high level.
British Minister for Science and Innovation, Lord Sainsbury, who is at present in Beijing, said:" The United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, would like to congratulate China for this successful launch. He has asked me to say how impressed he is by the dedication and skill of all those involved in this historic mission."
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Tabachnik, who is also in Beijing, called Wednesday a remarkable festival for the Chinese people and the launch "a great victory" on the part of the Chinese science and technology circle.
He said the launch would open broad prospects for Sino-Ukrainian cooperation in the field of space science and technology.
French Minister for Science Research Claudie Haignere, the first woman astronaut in Europe, said with China's successful launch of the manned spacecraft, "the space age has entered a new historic period."
Pedro Pires, president of the Republic of Cape Verde, expressed his cordial congratulations on China's achievement, and wished China would prosper further.
Paul Biya, president of the Republic of Cameroon, called the launch a great event not only for the Chinese people, but for the world at large. It revealed China's strong national strength, and particularly its advanced development in science and technology.
Bangladesh Minster for Science and Information Abdul Moyeen Khan said the launch proved that investment in science and technology, even by countries with scarce resources, can pay dividends in the long-run.
"The triumph of Chinese technology, I would say, is a triumph for the world from which we should learn the high priorities of allocation even in a poor country," he said.
Deputy Speaker of the Estonian Parliament Peter Kreitzberg said the launch would have great significance for China's long-term development.
"We congratulate the Chinese people on the successful launch of their first astronaut into space. This is a historic achievement," United States State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, told a briefing in Washington. "We applaud China's success in becoming only the third country to launch people into space."
The Senzhou-5, atop a China-made Long March II F carrier rocket, blasted off at 9 a.m. Wednesday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China's northwestern Gansu Province, and entered its orbit in about 10 minutes.
(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2003)