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During the recent China-US Innovation Conference, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology and Deputy Secretary of the Leading Party Group Li Xueyong admitted that China now needs to include innovation in its economic development, and that China will cooperate more actively and protect intellectual property rights with other countries in order to share the fruits of technological advancement. Officials admit that more efforts needed to protect IPR. Over 60,000 IPR infringement cases have been handled in past 5 years.
The Chinese government published it's first-ever white paper on its energy conditions and policies, which claims efforts to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, support renewable energy and cleaner utilization of existing sources of energy, in particular coal. China is the world's second biggest energy producer.
The High-Level Int'l Food Safety Forum took place in Beijing on November 26 and 27 in Beijing. Vice-Premier Wu Yi called for closer international cooperation on food safety by establishing a notification system and sharing appropriate technologies. Delegates from 45 countries and regions issued a joint declaration in Beijing to boost information exchange on food contamination and disease outbreaks. Framework cooperation agreements were signed with Germany and the Republic of Korea.
A 24-year-old man in east China's Jiangsu province, close to Shanghai, died of bird flu this month, the 17th Chinese so far. The previous one was a 19-year-old soldier who died in June. China has altogether reported 26 cases of bird flu since 2003 but so far no human-to-human transmission case.
China's Ministry of Health announced that by the end of October, 223,501 people have been officially reported to have contracted HIV. However, according to an estimation of the Ministry, the WHO and UNAIDS, China could have as many as 700,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. Besides, the first phase of clinical trials on China's second homemade HIV/AIDS vaccine began at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing this month.
For the first time, the Embassy of Switzerland organised a large Swiss booth in the very popular yearly China Education Expo in Beijing. At the entrance of the corridor, and followed by Swiss public universities, universities of applied sciences as well as private schools, the Swiss stand was focussing on general information about studies in Switzerland. Over 2000 students and parents visited the stand and more than 200 kilograms of brochures and leaflets were handed out during the two days of the exhibition. The Swiss stand was nominated “the most attractive stand” by the popular Internet site “QQ”, one of the reasons was certainly the surprising appearance of Albert Einstein (edu.qq.com/expo2007).
China's first moon orbiter took off on October 24th in southwest China's Sichuan province, named after a popular mythology lady who ascended from earth to live on the moon. Chang'e-1 – that cost US$187 million to build- completed its fourth orbital transfer and will move towards a 380,000-km circumlunar orbit at the beginning of November. The manager of this project, Ye Peijian, obtained a Ph.D. in micro-technology at the University of Neuchâtel, from 1980 to 1985.
China has invested USD 39.9 billion
in R&D last year, 22.6% more than in 2005 and which
corresponds to 1.42 percent of the GDP. China has set
an investment target of putting two percent of its GDP
into R&D by 2010, according to the 11th Five-Year
Program for National Economic and Social Development (2006--2010).
71.1 percent of the total was spent by companies (state-owned
or private). Government research agencies spent 56.7 billion
yuan; higher education institutions spent 27.7 billion
yuan, accounting for 18.9 and 9.2 percent respectively.
About 234.28 billion yuan, or 78 percent of China's total
R&D spending went into development work. Only 16.8
percent went into application research and 5.2 percent
went into basic scientific research.
While the R&D budget in China does not perfectly
reflect the innovation, as mentioned, Chinese President
Hu Jintao recently announced in a seminar about educational
development strategy that China should take initiatives
to improve education and therefore maximise the number
of professional and skilled people.
The President of the Chinese Academy
of Science (CAS), Prof. LU Yongxiang, recently announced
that more efforts should be made to redefine CAS'
S&T objectives and strategic priorities, in order
to optimize the success of major S&T innovation initiatives.
CAS will therefore clarify its priorities in strategic
fields such as IT, life sciences, energy sources and resource
recycling, resources and the environment, space research,
nano-science and technology, advanced materials, advanced
manufacturing, cutting-edge S&T issues, and research
on the basis of large-scale scientific facilities. Leaders
of S&T units will need to focus on objectives and
will be judged about major innovation achievements.
This month is the start of the new scholar year, and
there is an enlarged number of exchanges of students between
Switzerland's CRUS and China's Scholarship
Council. There are currently 48 Swiss students (26 full
scholarships and 22 partial scholarships) in China and
an equivalent number of Chinese Ph.D. students in Switzerland
benefiting from the mutual scholarship agreement. Besides,
there are an increasing number of exchange programs between
Swiss and Chinese secondary schools (approx. 8).
The Chinese government has cancelled
the public release of the “Green GDPs” of
provinces and cities, managed by the Chinese Academy for
Environmental Planning under the leadership of the State
Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). The “Green
GDP” concept includes the costs of pollution and
natural resources. Provincial governments have lobbied
SEPA and the National Bureau of Statistics not to release
the data, in order to focus on gross economic growth.
16 Chinese Ph.D. students in applied mathematics, on
the occasion of Leonhard Euler’s 300th anniversary,
attended the 6th International Congress on Industrial
and Applied Mathematics in Zurich (ICIAM07). They also
visited Basel (Euler’s city), Luzern, Bern (State
Secretariat of Education and Research, SER), Lausanne
(EPFL), Montreux (Chillon Castle), Zermatt and Geneva
(Euler exhibition). In a parallel program, representatives
of their universities in charge of int’l affairs
met with universities in Zurich, Basel, Winterthur, St-Gallen
and Lausanne, in order to strengthen cooperation. The
program was financed by SER and Presence Switzerland,
and sponsored by Zurich Insurance.
The National People's Congress Standing
Committee has recently officially announced 2 new ministers
that for the first time in recent history, are not members
of the communist party.
Wan Gang, German-trained engineer, expert of automobile
(incl. clean energy) and President of Shanghai’s
Tongji University, was nominated as the new Minister of
Science and Technology
Chen Zhu, French-trained doctor and health researcher
in molecular biology and leukaemia, vice-president of
the Chinese Academy of Science, was nominated as the new
Minister of Health.
Besides, 2 others new Ministers have been announced in
environmentally related fields, namely Land and Resources
and Water Resources.
China issued a national plan on June 4, 2007 to address
climate change and show its determination to reduce greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions in an all round way. Under the National
Climate Change Program, the first by a developing country,
China pledges to restructure its economy, promoting clean
technologies and improving energy efficiency. But the
plan does not include any quantified targets for carbon
The Chinese government has announced
its first national action plan to respond to climate change
during a state council conference chaired by the premier
Wen Jiabao, describing the climate change effects in China
and measures China will take. The interest in international
cooperation was specifically emphasised. Local governments
are urged to implement the action plan, including the
organization of public awareness campaigns on environment
Besides, the National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC) announced that 4,000 small coal mines will be closed
by the end of the year, with the objective of closing
10’000 by 2010, due to their negative impact on
A high ranking Swiss delegation headed
by State Secretary for Education and Research, Charles
Kleiber, visited Beijing and Shanghai from 22 to 26 April.
The purpose was to hold discussions on the implementation
of the bilateral cooperation strategy for science and
technology. The strategy of bilateral cooperation countries
is part of the dispatch on the promotion of education,
research and technology in the period from 2008 to 2011
that the Federal Council submitted to the Swiss parliament.
The delegation included the director of the Federal Office
for Professional Education and Technology, the President
of the Swiss National Science Foundation, and Presidents
of major universities.
During the visit of the Swiss delegation in Beijing,
a public commemoration event took place in celebration
of the 300th anniversary of Leonhard Euler. Prof. Rolf
Jeltsch of ETH gave a speech titled “Leonhard Euler
– his life, personality, discoveries and their impact
today” and State Secretary for Education and Research,
Charles Kleiber, extended an invitation to 16 Chinese
Ph.D. students in applied mathematics to attend the 6th
International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics
at ETH in July 2007. They will also visit research institutions
and be able to explore opportunities for cooperation with
The National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC) and the State Environmental Protection
Administration (SEPA) have announced two important measures
in the field of environment protection. In order to reduce
air pollution urgently and in particular acid rain, it
is planned that coal-fired power plants will cut sulfur
dioxide (SO2) discharges by 62 percent before 2010. Besides,
SEPA is now strengthening cooperation with the People's
Bank of China: enterprises that are identified by SEPA
environmental protection supervisors as law violators
are expected to have more and more difficulties getting
The Ministry of Science and Technology has launched a
list of innovation projects in relationship with the Olympic
Games where international and commercial cooperation is
wished. Fields involved include information and communication,
environment, transport, energy, etc. Please do not hesitate
to contact us if you wish the detailed list.
China has announced its official 10
best 2006 S&T progresses (cf. article):
- Next-generation internet technology.
- Discovery of a large natural gas field.
- World first Experimental Advanced Superconducting
- Observation of resonance state in chemical reactions
at the quantum level.
- 436 km green corridor through the Takelamagan Deserts.
- China's first global marine scientific investigation.
- Development of therapeutic hepatitis B vaccines.
- Upgrading of Beijing Positron and Electron Collider.
- Teleportation of dual-particle complex quantum state
and manipulation of six-photon entangled state.
- Launching of a satellite of remote sensing applications.
The energy saving and environment protection 2006 objectives
of the government have unfortunately not been reached.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC), some of the reasons are a lack of supportive policies,
in particular to influence the industry. The good news
is that the People's Bank of China is now involved in
environment protection: it is planned that commercial
banks will be ordered to control the environment impact
of the commercial lawns.
China has a new case of human bird flu in Fujian province
of South-East China. The H5N1 virus is responsible for
the deaths of 14 people in China since 2003. A patent
that was diagnosed with bird flu in January in Anhui province
Within the framework of the Memorandum
of Understanding between the State Secretariat for Education
and Research and the Chinese Ministry of Science &
Technology, the following workshops and fellowships have
- a "Life Cycle Assessment of Electrical and Electronic
Equipment" will be organized by EMPA (Materials
Science & Technology) and the Dept. of Environmental
Engineering, Tsinghua University.
- a "Conflicts in Water Resources Allocation and
Integrated Water" will be also held this year by
Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich and
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Peking University.
- Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Xuanwu Hospital
- Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
- College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing
- Shanghai Jiaotong University
- Institute of Environmental Engineering, Peking University
- Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology,
Chinese Academy of Sciences
- School of Chem. & Chem. Eng., Nanjing University
- College of Environmental Sciences, Peking University