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Communist China is thinking of creating a Communist party space branch

Chinese astronauts are considering the creation of a space branch of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Even though the growing space nation is not a participating member of the International Space Station (ISS) project, the country hopes to be able to one day create its own permanent space station.

The Chinese astronaut corp now has 14 members -- all communist party members -- and the Communist party only requires three members for a government application.

"If China has its own space station, the taikonauts on mission will carry out the regular activities of a CPC branch in space in the way we do on Earth, such as learning the Party's policies and exchanging opinions on the Party's decisions," said Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut. "If we establish a Party branch in space, it would also be the 'highest' of its kind in the world.”

Yang, current deputy director of the China Astronaut Research Training Center, became the world's first taikonaut aboard the Shenzhou V spacecraft in 2003. During a mission two years later, two more Chinese astronauts were successfully sent to space aboard the Shenzhou VI spacecraft. Only the United States and Russia have successfully launched astronauts into space before China.

China plans another manned launch in mid-2008, this time with a three-man crew.

It will be a long time before an official party can be established, especially since the party branch must need a permanent space residence – a feat China will likely not be able to complete soon.

"Like foreign astronauts having their beliefs, we believe in Communism, which is also a spiritual power," closed Yang in a statement to Chinese media.




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