China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is a major State-owned business group with powerful core competitiveness, excellent innovative skills and independently developed intellectual property rights, including to the Shenzhou and Long March brand names. The Group was established on July 1, 1999. Its predecessor was the Fifth Research Academy of China's Ministry of National Defence, established in 1956, and developed through different incarnations including the Seventh Academy of Machine Building Industry, the Ministry of Astronautics Industry and the Ministry of Aerospace Industry and the China Aerospace Industrial Company.
The Group owns eight large research and production entities including the China Academy of Launch Technology (CALT), Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology (AASPT), China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology (AALPT), Sichuan Academy of Space Flight Technology, Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology, China Academy of Space Electronics Technology and China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, as well as specialised businesses such as the China Satellite Communications Corporation and China Great Wall Industry Corporation, a number of listed companies and their associated businesses.
The Group is mainly engaged in the research, design, manufacture and launch of launch vehicles, artificial satellites, manned space craft and strategic and tactical guided missile systems, the franchising of international commercial satellite launch services, with the ability and experience to manage large-scale system projects. The Group's research bases are spread across China, located in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Xi'an, Chengdu, Inner Mongolia, Hong Kong (Shenzhen) and Hainan.
We also actively apply aerospace technology in the development of satellite applications, IT technology, innovative materials and alternative energy, specialised space technology applications, specialised vehicles and their components, microbiology and other focus areas, thus creating an integrated pattern of military and civilian development. For a long time, the upgrading of China's military hardware as well as technological developments has played a vital role in the country's social and economic growth.
The group now employs more than 120,000 people, and has nurtured leaders in key scientific fields, both as technical professionals as well as skilled entrepreneurs, characterized by their operational management skills as well as their finely honed craftsmen's skills. These include more than 30 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The end result of this effort is mirrored not only in our outstanding achievements, but in our outstanding human resources. We aim to nurture a love of aerospace and pride in our cutting-edge military and technological aerospace achievements as well as our manned space missions, and develop core values of nationalism, humanism, environmental consciousness and innovative planning which truly reflect the contemporary, space-focused nature of our corporate culture.
At present, we are rapidly moving ahead with the development of new aerospace science and technology applications, guided missile systems, the aerospace application industry and aerospace services. We also actively promote exchanges and cooperation at home and abroad, and are committed to innovation, ambitious expansion and the full-hearted development of the Group into a major world-class aerospace enterprise group, dedicated to striving for national development as well as the peaceful use of outer space.