China has the capability of exploring Mars, Ye Peijian, a top scientist with the country's lunar probe mission Chang'e-3 programme said.
China is competent enough to send a probe to circle Mars and land on it, Ye said, adding that the country has no problems with tracking control and communications technology.
China's space missions have seen systematic development.
The Chang'e-3 lunar probe, a part of the second phase of the lunar programme, soft-landed on the Moon on December 14 last year with a moon rover Yutu (also known as Jade
Rabbit), which has since experienced mechanical trouble.
Ye said China has improved ground stations and tackled many problems concerning control and communications, especially during the second phase of its lunar programme.
"But the time to go (to Mars) will depend on the country's budget and decision," he told a news agency.
The flight of 'Mangalyaan', India's maiden mission to Mars, which was successfully launched in November, was watched with interest in China.
Ye Hailin, an expert on South Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, said 'Mangalyaan' should be interpreted rationally as ‘a great achievement’ of India that also deserves applause from the rest of the world.
“Like the Chinese, Indian people have their space dreams as well. The Mars orbiter, if successful, will increase the human race's store of knowledge and change our life,” Ye said.


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