China honors its 'father' of space efforts

Dec. 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

BEIJING, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- China says it is commemorating the centennial birth anniversary of Qian Xuesen, considered the country's father of space technology.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, called for efforts to carry forward Qian's spirit and work ethic, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

He made the remarks Thursday at a symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Qian, also known as Tsien Hsue-shen.

Qian played a key role in China's missile and aviation programs after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

The Chinese government set up an aviation industry committee in 1956 based on a position paper by Qian on the country's defense and aviation industry, which became the country's leading organization for missile and aviation programs.

Qian died in Beijing Oct. 31, 2009, at the age of 98.

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