Chinese President Xi Jinping greets orbiting astronauts in milestone video call

Chinese President Xi Jinping greets two Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong II space lab during a video call.
Chinese President Xi Jinping greets two Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong II space lab during a video call.PHOTO: XINHUA

(CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Chinese President Xi Jinping greeted two Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong II space lab during a video call on Wednesday (Nov 9) afternoon.

Mr Xi asked about the physical condition, living conditions and work progress of astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong during the half-month they have been in space so far. The mission will last a month.

"We are in good health. And our work is going smoothly," Mr Jing said. "We can even watch live broadcasting of Xinwen Lianbo (CCTV's flagship news programme) on the spaceship with a smooth and clear picture."

He said the two are enjoying better working and living conditions aboard the space module, which is linked to the Shenzhou XI spacecraft, than their predecessors, adding: "We feel so proud of our country."

Mr Xi encouraged the astronauts to redouble their efforts and cooperate with each other closely to complete the mission successfully.

The Shenzhou XI space mission is China's sixth manned space mission. In the course of these missions, technology for ground-to-space calls has developed rapidly.

CCTV commentator Yang Yu said: "For the audience, the most impressive part about the space-ground calls is the emotional communication that was supported by technological breakthroughs."