|A Bolivian communications satellite is launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center(XSLC), southwest China's Sichuan Province, Dec. 21, 2013. China successfully sent a Bolivian communications satellite into orbit with its Long March-3B carrier rocket at 0:42 a.m.(Beijing Time) Saturday. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)|
XICHANG, Sichuan, Dec. 21 -- China successfully sent a Bolivian communications satellite into orbit with its Long March-3B carrier rocket from southwest Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 0:42 a.m (Beijing Time) Saturday.
Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma was present, the first time a foreign head of state has witnessed a satellite launch in China.
The satellite was produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) with a designed longevity of 15 years. It is Bolivia's first communications satellite.
The satellite is named Tupac Katari in homage to an 18th century indigenous hero who fought Bolivia's Spanish colonizers.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of congratulations to President Morales, saying the successful development and launch of the satellite represents the latest achievements and level of cooperation between China and Bolivia in the field of science and technology.
"The satellite will play an important role for Bolivia to improve its broadcasting, education and medical services. It will make important contributions to promote cooperation between China and Latin American countries," Xi said.
Bilateral ties have been progressing smoothly while pragmatic cooperation in all areas are making steady headway since China and Bolivia established diplomatic ties 28 years ago, Xi said.
Xi said China hopes for more space collaboration with Bolivia, which will promote mutual beneficial cooperation and friendly relations, bringing benefits to the people of both countries.