Chinese (Mandarin) word meaning 'space navigator'. This is used by Chinese officials and state news sources to describe astronauts. It is a more technical term than the alternative, taikonaut, which is made up of taikong (太空) meaning 'space or emptiness', and the Greek word naus, meaning 'sailor'. Taikonaut is the favorite for survival, because it is easier for foreigners to pronounce and ties in with the American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut.
These words were coined to refer to the crewman of Shenzhou 5, the first Chinese manned space vehicle, launched on 15th October 2003.