Space News reports that a Chinese space official told the National Space Symposium his government hopes to have a space station in orbit by 2022.
Left unsaid was any mention of a possible human lunar mission. Some critics of President Obama's FY 2011 NASA budget proposal have falsely claimed that the Chinese are about to send taikonauts to the Moon. The truth is they're only studying it.
Of more importance is further confirmation that the Chinese are moving closer to international collaboration with the other spacefaring nations.
Wang said China has established “a good working relationship” with space agencies in Russia, France, Germany and other countries, and that Beijing looks forward to working with the United States to pursue cooperative space science and manned exploration efforts in the future.
"In November 2009, President [Barack] Obama visited China, and both leaders signed the American communiqué among which it is specifically stated that the United States and China look forward to expanding discussions on space science cooperation and starting a dialogue on human spaceflight and space exploration based on the principles of transparency, reciprocity and the mutual benefit," Wang said, adding that China is looking forward to a visit from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden later this year.
"This forms an important foundation for both sides to carry out manned space cooperation," he said.