Brussels, 01 March 2002
As part of a move to increase its cooperation with international scientific communities, China is considering opening up two of its national research programmes to the European Union.
The two programmes in question, known as programmes 863 and 973 as they were launched in March 1986 and March 1997 respectively, address many of the EU's priority areas. Programme 863, a high technology research development programme, addresses biotechnology, information technology, automation, energy, new materials and marine technologies, while programme 973, a national basic research programme, focuses on agriculture, energy, information technology, resources and the environment, public health and materials.
China intends to play a more active part in major international research projects, to encourage more Chinese scientists to enter into the international arena and to explore building further relations with foreign research institutions, so as to raise the visibility of China's scientific community, according to China's Ministry of science and technology.
The Chinese Ministry of personnel has also announced moves to attract more overseas Chinese students back to China by constructing more pioneering science parks with a view to developing high tech industries.
In a separate move, the Chinese Association for science and technology, the main body responsible for raising public awareness of science, has launched a nationwide campaign to spread basic scientific knowledge.
The campaign will focus on community based scientific exhibitions and the provision of courses for Chinese citizens. Efforts will also be made to increase the general level of scientific knowledge among government officials.
The association has proposed that every province and city in China build a science museum, and has offered to help universities and research institutes hold public meetings. At the beginning of the year the association launched a science popularisation movement in the country's rural areas in conjunction with the Chinese government, which involved using a motorcade to carry scientific exhibitions and science communicators to these areas.