China's science and technology sector has been surging forward rapidly over the past decade, according to a leading Australian scientist.
Professor Andrew Dempster, director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research at the University of New South Wales told Xinhua in a recent interview that specific examples, such as the BeiDou navigation satellite system, demonstrate China's strong commitment to science.
"In the last few decades we've seen significant advancements coming out of China," Dempster said.
"For a long time GPS and GLONASS were the only satellite navigation systems around, but now the BeiDou system coming out of China is growing very rapidly."
Dempster said the satellite system, currently serving the Asian region, will be ready for global deployment soon, utilizing the BeiDou-2 and BeiDou-3 satellites.
"It's been quite a rapid deployment, and it is very impressive the way China has gone about doing that."
Although satellite navigation is Dempster's area of specific expertise, he is well versed in space technology, and is very impressed with recent technological advances coming out of China's space sector.
"A couple of things that happened last year, the one that is of particular interest to us, and is really a world first, is the Quantum communications satellite," Dempster said.
"I think it may have caught some Western observers a little bit by surprise that China is able to launch that experiment."
Dempster said the satellite, which makes "perfectly secure" communications possible, had previously only been possible in the theoretical realm, which China's scientists have now made a reality.
China's space program was another aspect of the science and technology surge that had Dempster excited, with the space mission late last year witnessing two Chinese astronauts return from space after a 33 day stay on the Tiangong-2 space lab, demonstrating China's strong space program.