According to a report by CCTV 13, European Space Agency and China National Space Administration reached an agreement to continue exchanges and comprehensive training of astronauts, with the goal of inviting European astronauts aboard Chinese Space Station from 2022.
So far, three astronauts from Germany, France and Italy are studying Chinese language and their Chinese must reach a certain level in order to be able to operate the space station equipments.
This, according to the video shared by CCTV 13, is because all the interfaces on the space station are in Chinese language. They include space station system status, cabinet equipment label, manipulator status and operation, space station layout, etc.
Chinese language is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. For any foreigner, learning Chinese is not an easy feat.
However, if foreign astronauts want to conduct scientific research in China's Tiangong space station, mastering Chinese language is inevitable as Tiangong will become the only space station in orbit after 2024.
One of the European astronaut, Mathias, a 48-year-old German astronaut of the European Space Agency, has been learning Chinese for six years. His Chinese name is "Ma Tian," and he wish to board Tiangong space station one day.
China has said that it is open to international cooperation in the field of aerospace and maintains close academic exchanges with its Russian and European counterparts.
Europe and Russia can also launch their own manned spacecraft to dock with Tiangong, and there is no need to rent China's Shenzhou spacecraft. Of course, they need to be in line with international standards, and their docking equipment must be fully compartible with Chinese standards.