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There is broad space for China and the United States to collaborate, such as in space technology applications and space science -- including exploration of outer space, Sun said.
He stressed more understanding between the two is paramount, since there is some misunderstanding in the United States that China might try to acquire space technology for other purposes.
Sun said such speculation is totally groundless, noting the country has always relied on itself and developed space technology independently.
The term taikonaut is sometimes used in English for astronauts from China by Western news media. The term was coined in May 1998 by Chiew Lee Yih from Malaysia, who used it first in newsgroups. Almost simultaneously, Chen Lan coined it for use in the Western media based on the term "tàikōng" (太空), Chinese for space. In Chinese itself, however, the term yuhangyuan (宇航員 yǔháng yuán) ("space navigator") has long been used and refers to astronauts and cosmonauts. The closest term using taikong is a colloquialism tàikōng rén (太空人, literally space human) which refers to people who has actually been in space. Official English text issued by the Chinese government uses the term "astronaut."