Science, Technology and Education News from China
Science, Technology and Education News from China
Newsletter (pdf) - Archive 2007

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N° 42  December 2007 10 p.  72 kb

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.


N° 41  November 2007 8 p.  63 kb

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.


N° 40  October 2007 10 p.  123 kb

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.


N° 39  September 2007 9 p.  74 kb

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.


N° 38  August 2007 9 p.  74 kb

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).


N° 37  July 2007 10 p.  81 kb

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.


N° 36  June 2007 10 p.  78 kb

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 dioxide emission.


N° 35  Mai 2007 12 p.  92 kb

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 protection.

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 the environment.


N° 34  April 2007 10 p.  77 kb

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 Swiss colleagues.


N° 33  March 2007 10 p.  75 kb

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 financial support.

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.


N° 32  February 2007 9 p.  74 kb

China has announced its official 10 best 2006 S&T progresses (cf. article):

  1. Next-generation internet technology.
  2. Discovery of a large natural gas field.
  3. World first Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokomak (EAST).
  4. Observation of resonance state in chemical reactions at the quantum level.
  5. 436 km green corridor through the Takelamagan Deserts.
  6. China's first global marine scientific investigation.
  7. Development of therapeutic hepatitis B vaccines.
  8. Upgrading of Beijing Positron and Electron Collider.
  9. Teleportation of dual-particle complex quantum state and manipulation of six-photon entangled state.
  10. 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 has recovered.


N° 31  January 2007 10 p.  74 kb

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 been approved:


  • 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 Normal University
  • 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




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