China's Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is set to open its doors to foreign astronomers in a bid to attract top talent from around the world.
The device is three times more sensitive than US equivalents and covers the area of 30 football pitches, costing its builders $175m (1.1bn yuan). Construction on the 500-metre device began in 2011 and opened for operations in January this year.
"We drew a lot of inspiration from its structure, which we gradually improved to build our telescope," Wang Qiming, chief inspector of FAST's operations and development centre, told AFP in a statement.
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The news comes after the US-owned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico was destroyed after its 900-tonne receiver platform broke and fell 140 metres into its radio dish this month, destroying the device.
China pledged $1.4tn into building tech self-reliance via its Made in China 2025 and 2027 military programmes, namely after the Trump administration blacklisted dozens of its mainland tech firms, including Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corp and Shanghai-based chipmaker SMIC, among others, sparking an acrimonious tech race.