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China is already one of the world's
leading countries in terms of its number of research publications.
China is now the 5th largest country in the world, in
S&T, after USA, Japan, UK and Germany. However, a
recent study (cf. article) analyzed that in the fields
of information, bio-science, new materials, energy, resources
and environment, advanced manufacturing, the level of
research is still 5 years behind. But it is strongly likely
that the government support will continue to improve the
level quickly in the coming few years.
This is one of the reasons justifying Switzerland's
S&T cooperation with China. A next strategic symposium
is planned in the field of materials. Recently, we launched
an Einstein Awards Program (cf. articles) to invite the
best Chinese physicists to visit Switzerland and Germany.
Physics cooperation between Switzerland and China is already
strong, including CERN, and the latest news (cf. article)
are the nomination of ETH Prof. Maurice Rice as Chairman
of the boosted Centre of Theoretical and Computational
Physics of the University of Hong Kong.
Follow-up workshops in the strategic fields can be applied
for at ETH (nominated as Swiss Institutional Leading House
for China). The potential cooperation includes the exchange
of researchers, fellowships: in the next two years there
will be up to 15 research fellowships per annum available
for application (details can be found on www.china.ethz.ch,
deadline for 2006 fellowships in February, for workshops
As usual, we remind that Switzerland and China also
cooperate with FP6 funding (there are currently interesting
calls opened), and with Marie
A number of events have happened this
month with Swiss participation.
The Sino-Swiss Workshop on Environment and Sustainability
was the latest strategic symposium financed by the Swiss
(State Secretariat of Education and Research) and Chinese
(Ministry of Education and Research) and co-organized
by Swiss and Chinese coordinators ETH and ACCA21, and
our support. Around 30 Swiss researchers and 45 Chinese
researchers participated, making speeches and discussing
potential co-cooperation. Topics were wide, from water
management, bio-diversity, bio-treatment, ... to new energy,
transport management, and from environmental policy to
industrial ecology. Last year's strategic symposium on
bio-technology having generated a number of strong contacts
followed by successive meetings, it is very likely that
the topic of environment will also succeed in sino-swiss
As the same time, a symposium "Environmental Protection
on Law Symposium" included Swiss participation, including
EMPA (Materials Science and Technology) which is managing
the project of co-operation with China in the field of
eWaste. The symposium was organized by the National People's
Congress that we are confident will cooperate with Switzerland
on the establishment of a future eWaste law.
Talking about eWaste, Swiss company Dietiker/Immark,
co-organized a large conference in Shanghai, "World
Recycling - Shanghai '05". In parenthesis, the central
government has "nominated" the three cities
Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou to implement pilot eWaste treatment
(and collection and recycling chains).
At the same time as the first symposium above-mentioned,
the current catastrophe of Jinan/Heilongjiang happened
respectively was announced. The articles on the catastrophe
are not included in this newsletter, as it evolves daily.
Articles on bird flu are still not includes; our website
can be consulted.
This month, China has illustrated the
development of research with a number of successes. The
most famous one is obviously the successful flight to
space of the new Shenzhen VI spacecraft. A large number
of newtechnologies have been developed by China for Shenzhen
VI, in cooperation with Japan and the USA, in various
fields, digital cameras, satellite telecommunications,
new materials (900 new materials!), dehydrated vegetables,
space breeding, etc.
It appears that a world-class new material has been
developed by the Changchun Research Institute of Applied
Chemistry; it has developed a new polyacrylamide chemical
product with potential use in sewage treatment.
In health research, China is intensively increasing
the financing of research. In the field of AIDS research,
its budget is USD 100 mio. Research is successful: China
found which gene causes leukemia.
In the field of health, due to intensive press coverage
and daily evolution of bird flu, our news on this topic
are moved on a frequent basis from this newsletter to
our website www.eda.admin.ch/beijing.
Finally, we would like to remind that FP6 -in its last
phase- has open topics that could potentially finance
research cooperation between Switzerland and China (FP6
also finances Chinese researchers).
Switzerland has been strongly represented
this month in China in the field of education, research
In particular, State Secretary of Education and Research,
Charles Kleiber, paid a visit to Beijing, accompanied
in Beijing by a delegation of rectors of Swiss universities.
Amongst others, M. Kleiber met with the vice-ministers
of education, science and technology to discuss the status
and future of cooperation in superior education, research
and technology (cf. article number 9).
The International Risk Governance Council's (IRGC),
a foundation that was founded in Switzerland last year,
had its second yearly meeting in Beijing and organised
a symposium "Risk Governance and Sustainable Development
in China". The topic and objective is a global approach
to global risks management, from natural hazards to climate
change, from terrorism to diseases. Besides the government,
Switzerland was strongly participating, with scientists
-including ETH Nobel Price Richard R. Ernst -, companies
The "International High-Level Forum on Bioeconomy",
organised by the China National Center for Biotechnology
Development (CNCBD), the entity that co-organised the
Swiss-Chinese biotech symposium in 2004, was also strongly
attended by Swiss scientists. It was co-chaired by ETH
Nobel Price Richard R. Ernst, and its sessions "Biotechnology
Industry" by Serono. Parliamentary M. Cavalli attended
the session "Medical Biotechnology".
In the field of environment, SECO financed two successful
and very relevant symposiums this month: "The Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM): New Market and Investment
Opportunities", in the 9th China International Fair
for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, and "Financing
e-Waste Management and Extended Producer Responsibility
in China", as part of the R'05 7th World Congress
on Recovery, Recycling and Re-Integration in Beijing.
In the past few months, it seems China
is boosting the application of laws and organization to
ensure environment and health protection. This month,
a draft law on animal welfare ensures animals rights,
for example being free from hunger and misery. However,
this law has a much broader impact on environment and
health protection since it also includes diseases and
A few months ago, it was a draft law on electronic waste.
The good news is that SECO just launched a project, the
second phase of "Knowledge Partnerships in e-Waste
Recycling", in South Africa, India and China. InChina,
it will indeed cover legal and organizational issues.
The project is run by EMPA and on the eWaste topic EMPA
will also cooperate with another SECO-financed project,
Again on the topic of environmental protection law,
the Environment and Resources Protection Committee of
National People's Congress is organizing an "International
Forum on Environmental Legislation and Sustainable Development"
from 20 and 22 November and hopes Swiss participation.
A few months ago, a very controversial initiative has
been taken to implement the calculation of the "green
GDB". The city of Beijing is indeed starting to calculate
its 2004 development.
In the field of science and technology, China this month
distinguished itself about supercomputers, fuel cell technology,
transgenic cotton, mathematics, anti-tumor drug.
Besides a few interesting results of
Chinese research, it appears to us that the most relevant
information by the Chinese official press in July is on
the recent ETH development of hydrogen-powered car. The
reason is because focussed reporting on foreign science
proves once more China's interest in hydrogen-powered
cars. This was already clear to us last year when PSI
participated in the Shanghai Bibendum Competition (cf.
press clippings no 4).
of M. Joseph DEISS, Federal Councellor, head of Federal
Department of Economy, from July 11 to 19, obviously focussed
on economic cooperation and topics. However, it did include
cooperation on development by SECO (including the mixed
credit) with vice-premier ZENG Peiyan.
This month's press clippings illustrate
Chin's growing activities in modernizing traditional Chinese
medicine, with discoveries amounted related to wheat breeding
and vaccines of bird flu outbreak. China, with strong
commitment and the help from WHO, will continue to fight
one of the most important disease, AIDS.
China is still facing serious environmental problems,
according to SEPA's recent report this month, which is
caused by China's rapid economic growth which has a major
impact on environment and causes intensive environment
problems. On the other hand, China to actively develop
nuclear power, "green power" and the concept
of "Green Olympics" will definitely help resolve
the environmental problems.
The scientific relations between Switzerland
and China are gaining momentum, with the signature in
Geneva on May 18th of an agreement to cooperate closely
in the field of health, more precisely:
- Prevention, control and information sharing on emerging
- Preparedness mechanisms in case of public health
- Prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases
(e.g. nutrition, obesity, food safety, cancer)
- Research on bio-medicine
- Traditional Chinese medicine (regulatory and quality
issues, scientific evidence on the effectiveness)
- Development of human resources in the health sector.
In the field of environment, two projects which had been
financed by SECO came to a succesful end: Municipal Solid
Waste Management and Hazardous Waste Management. These
projects helped define a national strategy and implement
it through pilot projects. The National plan is that by
2010 all provinces and municipalities will have their
local plan. In certain regions supported by the project,
the complete cycle of waste management has been implemented.
The project has allowed public management of waste collection
as well as the imporvement of technologies. In conclusion
these projects will have a positive impact on waste management
in the whole country. More information on the pilot projects
and their successes can be found on our website.
Besides, SECO has decided to finance a new project with
CCICED (China Council on International Cooperation of
Environment and Development), to succeed "An Environmental
Impact Assessment of China's WTO Accession - An analysis
of six sectors" (see Newsletter 5 November 2004 or
our website). The new project, "China's Ecological
Footprint - Task Force on China's Sustainable Development
and Global Product Markets" will analyse a few selected
international product chains passing by China.
SwissRe, which actively wupports environment protection
in China,awarded again their Annual "International
ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management"
to two water resources projects in China (see pdf document
page 10 - Swiss Re's press release).
This month's press clippings illustrate
China's growing activities in bio-technology and health
research, with discoveries announced in relationship with
genetically modified cereals (rice, wheat) and with two
of China's most important diseases, SARS and AIDS.
But on the other hand, a domestic study claims that
Chinese scientists perform well in mathematics, material
science, chemistry and engineering, while having little
influence in agricultural science and life science. Criteria
are citations, number of publications and patents. What
is sure is that the trend is on the uprise.
China's new law on solid waste became effective on April
4th is raising the interest of observers, especially as
SEPA recently illustrated itself as a determined, powerful
entity. The new law indeed gives SEPA additional power,
as it can fine pollutants without proving its accusations
(in the past, plaintiffs were responsible for justifying
In March we learnt about a few interesting
Chinese scientific achievements. The prestigious China
Science and Technology University in Hefei, Anhui province
has developped a unique technology to produce ultra-thin
cables. Still in the field of nano-tech, Chinese temas
have developped non-crystal material and observed superconducting
The Chinese government is activelly promoting scientic
research. This month, prices were delivered to recoginse
achievements in various strategical fields. It is interesting
to note that, again, the prime minister emphasised the
need for research in energy resources and environment
protection. 5 foreigners were also awarded, including
Daniel Vasella, CEO of Novartis.
Talking about environment, the most important news is
the projection of the 11th Five-Year period (2006-2010)
-the government's economic plan- that China will invest
1,300 billion yuan (around 200 billion CHF) in environment
protection. This is around double the 10th Five-Year period
Besides the fact that the amound of articles on water
at least reflect the importance of the problem, there
are interesting readings on plans for a law on circular
economy and on a recent WWF report on China's timber consumption
environmental footprint. An interview of environment vice-minister
Pan Yue is also particularly interesting.
The topic of this month was the Kyoto
Protocol in China the same way as around the world. This
international treaty aiming at curbing emissions of greenhouse
gases went into effect on February 16 2005. China ratified
the Protocol in 2002, but is not immediately obliged to
any reduction of emissions. However, it is likely that
China will prepare itself actively over the next few years.
Right now, for example, the first international CDM project
in China is prepraring itself.
But even more significant this month was the show of
muscle by State Environmental Protection Agency of the
Central Government. As described in the last Newsletter,
its move to close down 30 large-scale projects across
the country is regarded as an "environmental protection
storm", which reflects that the Chinese government
has begun to use environmental protection as a method
to cool down the economy and will pay more attention to
environmental management for any new projects. Subsequently,
SEPA has threatened 46 power plants of closing and fined
the Three Gorges project. Even if there is discussion
about who is behind this show of power, what is sure is
that it was a success and should have a positive impact
on the respect of laws and standards around the country.
||Of particular interest this month is the
selection by the Chinese Academy of Science of what they
consider to be China's 10 major R&D achievements in
2004. Achievements cover various areas, including IT, bio-technology,
geology, physics, nano-technlogy, energy, etc.This provides
obviously a partial overview only of China's research discoveries.
This month for example, interesting discoveries in bio-technlogy
are reported on, as well by the way as the development of
the bio-tech industry.
Energy is still the hot topic of environment protection
and sustainable development, after a law on green energy
was drafted last month. The State Environmental Protection
Agency of the Central Government is showing its determination
in "an unprecedented move"by closing down 30
large-scale projects across the country. It is to be noted
that many of these projects are related to electricity