WINDHOEK, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's President Hage Geingob Thursday hailed the Chinese astronauts' visit to share their aerospace experience and inspire the youth in the country.
The two astronauts, Liu Yang and Chen Dong, made a courtesy visit to the statehouse Thursday, where the president welcomed them with open arms.
Geingob said the visit by the two is important as the two nations get to share the space experience.
"Unfortunately we can not afford to launch a spacecraft, but for a friendly country like China to share, that to us is already enough," he added.
Namibia's Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Becky Ndjoze-Ojo at the event explained to the president how the visitors engaged with the students in the Erongo region as well as Windhoek during their 5-day visit.
"This is the first time astronauts have been to the land of the brave, but they have been hovering over us for a number of years while in space," she said.
According to Ndjoze-Ojo, the initial agreement to cooperate in the aerospace sphere which was signed in 2000 was renewed in March 2018.
During the visit the team managed to impart their experience and share their dreams to the learners they visited, she added.
Liu Yang thanked Geingob for his kind invitation for the visit to Namibia, not only for themselves but for the whole of astronauts in China.
"With the kind of support we received from Namibia, we have established an important space tracking station in Swakopmund and I think it is a starting point to our aerospace cooperation and also an important milestone for our bilateral relations," she added.
According to Liu, it is China's aim to peacefully utilize outer space and make it benefit mankind.
"Win-win cooperation and mutual benefit is the goal and in 2022 China will build our own space station which will be a platform for all the nations to use. We look forward to Namibia's participation and hope to fly together with Namibia to space," she added.
Meanwhile, Chen said that China attaches great importance to their bilateral relations and hopes next time he hovers over Namibia with a local astronaut onboard.
Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming explained to the president that the station in Swakopmund is the first Chinese space station built in the southern hemisphere.
Earlier at the visit to the Namibia University of Science and Technology, Zhang said the station one of the best win-win and mutually beneficial projects between the two countries.
The state visit was concluded with an invitation extended to the president for him to visit China to witness a launch to space for the two astronauts when they embark on their next mission.