A Taikonaut is a Chinese astronaut.


Official English-language texts issued by the government of the People's Republic of China use astronaut while texts in Russian use космонавт (cosmonaut). In official Chinese-language texts, "yǔ háng yuán" (宇航员, "space navigating personnel") is used for astronauts and cosmonauts, and "háng tiān yuán" (航天员, "space navigating personnel") is used for Chinese astronauts. The phrase "tài kōng rén" (太空人, "spaceman") is often used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.  The term taikonaut is used by some English-language news media organizations for professional space travelers from China. The word has featured in the Longman and Oxford English dictionaries, the latter of which describes it as "a hybrid of the Chinese term taikong (space) and the Greek naut (sailor)"; the term became more common in 2003 when China sent its first astronaut Yang Liwei into space aboard the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft. This is the term used by Xinhua News Agency in the English version of the Chinese People's Daily since the advent of the Chinese space program. The origin of the term is unclear; as early as May 1998, Chiew Lee Yih (趙裡昱) from Malaysia, used it in newsgroups.

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