President Hu Jintao told the three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou IX that they have pushed forward the national space program in carrying out its first manual docking.
Hu spoke by telephone to the space capsule crew - including Liu Yang, the nation's first woman in space - two days after they carried out the highly technical maneuver.
It is a milestone in Beijing's grand program to build a space station by the end of the decade.
"The smooth completion of the manual docking shows China fully grasps space-docking technology," Hu said in a conversation with the astronauts that was broadcast live on state television. "You have made outstanding contributions to the development of China's manned space program."
Beijing sees its space program as a symbol of its global stature, growing technical expertise and the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once-poor nation.
Team leader Jing Haipeng told Hu that he, Liu and their third colleague are in good shape after 10 days in space. State media said the Shenzhou IX may return to Earth on Friday.
"Chinese astronauts have our own home in space. We feel proud of our great country," Jing said, as the three astronauts, dressed in blue jumpsuits, stood to receive the call from Hu.
The third member is Liu Wang, who carried out the manual docking between the Shenzhou IX vessel and the orbiting Tiangong 1 module following the spacecraft's June 16 launch.
The complicated maneuver was the main goal of the 13-day Shenzhou mission, testing the docking technique needed to be able to construct a space station - which Beijing aims to do by 2020.
The two spacecraft first came together in an automatic docking on June 18, and hours later the three on board Shenzhou IX entered the Tiangong 1 - another first for the nation.
Jing told Hu that the group is now carrying out experiments in space.