Beijing: The Communist Party of China, the world`s largest political party, has ambitions to establish its first branch up in space when the country`s permanent space station is completed by 2020.
The ruling party on Tuesday celebrated the launch of China`s fifth manned space mission with three astronauts onboard Shenzhou-10.
"Three Communists in space" is how the state-run news agency Xinhua portrayed astronauts Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping.
"All of them are members of the CPC" the report said. The report recalled an interview of Yang Liwei, the country`s first astronaut, in which he said, "If the country has its own space station, Chinese astronauts, who are party members, might set up a party branch up there."
Yang had said in that interview that Chinese astronauts might not pray like their foreign counterparts do before they set off on a space mission, however, Communism, as their shared faith, supports them.
Party membership is a prerequisite for success in China in all walks of life, including the space.
Despite ideological dilution after the death of its founder, Mao Zedong, CPC, with a membership of 80,269,000 has all pervasive presence in China with even the country`s military, the People`s Liberation Army (PLA), functioning under the command of its leadership.
President Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the party, is the Chairman of the Military Commission which formed part of the PLA high command looking after the China`s Space programme.