18 May 2007

Chinese missile and spacecraft-tracking vessel berthed in Fiji

4:38 pm on 18 May 2007

A Chinese vessel used in the tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles and space craft has berthed in Fiji with 340 scientists on board.

No reason has been given for the Yuan Wang's visit with Chinese embassy officials only saying it is in Suva on a routine visit.

The Yuan Wang is one of four similar vessels used by the Chinese Satellite Launch and Control Centre.

They are used to track Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile flights, submarine to shore missiles launched under water, as well as the Shenzhou Chinese manned space craft and communications satellites.

The vessel is also used to communicate with and pass instructions to the crew of manned Chinese spacecraft.

The Yuan Wang will be in Suva until Tuesday.