BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping talked with the three astronauts stationed in the country's space station core module Tianhe on Wednesday morning, showing his consistent concern and support for Chinese pursuit of space dream.
The astronauts -- Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo -- were sent into space aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship on June 17 for in-orbit construction of China's space station. They will stay in space for three months.
"The construction of the space station is a milestone in China's space industry, which will make pioneering contributions to the peaceful use of space by humanity," said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, during the video call.
This was the third time that Xi has held Earth-space conversations with astronauts in orbit.
He also made video calls with astronauts of the Shenzhou-10 and Shenzhou-11 missions in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
"The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger. With the development of space programs, the Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into the space," said Xi during his conversation with the three Shenzhou-10 astronauts on June 24, 2013.
Expressing sincere greetings to the two Shenzhou-11 astronauts on Nov. 9, 2016, Xi spoke highly of their coordinated efforts in facing difficulties and hoped the two astronauts would keep up the good work through close cooperation and careful operation, so as to complete their mission.