The public is being asked to submit suggestions for names and symbols to adorn the space station.
"Considering past achievements and the bright future, we feel that the manned space program should have a more vivid symbol and that the future space station should carry a resounding and encouraging name," Wang Wenbao, director of the office, said at the news conference.
China previously named the space lab "Tiangong" meaning heavenly palace, and the spacecraft to transport astronauts was named "Shenzhou", divine vessel. Its moon probes were named after the country's mythical Moon Goddess "Chang'e". But the names were selected without public input.
"We now feel that the public should be involved in the names and symbols as this major project will enhance national prestige, and strengthen the national sense of cohesion and pride," Wang said.
The public is welcomed to submit suggestions for the space station and its three modules, as well as symbols for the China Manned Space Engineering Program and the space station.
Suggestions should be submitted between Monday and July 25 via websites including the Manned Space Engineering Office website or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The result will be decided before the end of September.
Suggested names for the cargo spaceship, however, should be submitted far earlier - between Monday [April 30] and May 20. The result will be announced before the end of June, Wang said.