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The Ministry of Science and Technology
People's Republic of China

N0.226 June 20,2000
    * National Scientific Brain Bank
    * S&T Results Assessment Reform
    * Research Budget of Chinese Universities
    * China Encourages Foreign Investment in West Mining
    * China's Engineering Information Network
    * Guangzhou's First Garbage Power Plant
    * Three Gorges Project Imposes No Apparent Effects on 
    * Water Quality

National Scientific Brain Bank

The Headquarters of Chinese Academy of Sciences composed of 624 academicians are busy working on the socalled “National Scientific Brain Bank” for the purpose of promoting the democratic, scientific and legal decision making process in China. It is reported that the construction of the bank has been listed a major component of CAS' phase II knowledge innovation project. CAS will provide ideological, organizational and systematic support for turning the Headquarters into the national scientific brain bank.

At the plenary session of academicians held on June 5, 2000, Lu Yongxiang, President of CAS, made a work report titled “Working Hard for Establishing National Scientific Brain Bank”. He said academicians should pay consistent attentions to the major issues facing the national development and propose strategic and visional consultations and suggestions. At present, attentions shall be paid to great west development, building the army with science and technology, S&T demands for state enterprises reform after China entering WTO, the formulation of national long term plan and the role of S&T education in nurturing talents. On the basis of ensuring the quality, attention shall be paid to absorbing qualified young and middle aged scientists to be part of the academician contingent. More highlevel academic activities shall be organized so as to exert its academic influence over the nation's scientific communities and guide the scientific development.

Lu added that major visional and strategic issues relating to the national development call for the active participation of S&T communities in the decision making process. Major decisions on the national development shall be reviewed and assessed by scientific communities. The healthy development of a modern society shall give due attention to the rational thinking of scientific communities.

S&T Results Assessment Reform

This year will see China's major reform of its S&T results assessment system, which will turn the governmental behavior for such assessment into a market behavior under the guidance of the government so as to make S&T results assessment gradually in line with the market rules. It is reported that the new management rules for S&T results assessment will be dished out in the year.

As briefed by the officials with Dept. of Development and Planning, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, to achieve the said goal, the Ministry has started from last September to revise “Methods of S&T Results Assessment” and organized experts and scholars to the review the revised version.

It is briefed that in the future S&T results, apart from those associated with national secrets and of very important nature that still need the assessment organized by the governmental authorities concerned, will be assessed, judged and stamped with conclusions according to relevant by-laws and regulations by brokers qualified for S&T results assessment. Government major functions in this field will focus on brokers management and supervision.

Research Budget of Chinese Universities

At present, there are 300,000 people engaged in universities' S&T activities in the country. These higher learning institutions have raised through different channels Rmb 10 billion research budget. Of them, 24 universities have secured their research budget over Rmb 100 million respectively (55% of the total research budget for the nation's universities).

The website of ranking of Chinese Universities ( www.uniranks.edu.cn) authorized by Chinese Ministry of Education has recently published its exclusive statistics on Chinese universities' scientific research and associated industries.

As shown by the statistics, there are now 275,000 people engaged in universities' S&T activities. These institutions have obtained Rmb 9.95 billion for their research budget, 21.3% up than last year. Of them, the research budgets of 24 universities have exceeded Rmb 100 million respectively, totaled in Rmb 4.43 billion(44.5% of the whole university research budget pie).

50 universities with top budgets landed a sum of Rmb 6.29 billion, 63.2% of the total. Of them, Tsinghua University ranks the first place with Rmb 551 million followed by Zhejiang University with Rmb 500 million. The other eight in the top ten are: Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tianjin University, Harbin Industrial University, Northeast University, Tongji University, Beijing Space and Aeronautics University, Northwest Industrial University and Huazhong Polytechnic University.

Positive Measures for Foreign Capital Utilization

At the news briefing on the 4th China Investment and Trade Fairs held on May 25,2000, Liu Zuozhang, Deputy Director, Dept. of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, said that the Chinese Government would adoptmore incentive policies and measures to improve its investment environment and to utilize foreign capital in an efficient and rational manner.

He stressed that the latest positive developments such as accelerated process of China's entry in WTO, the full fledged implementation of Great West Development strategies, vigorous transformation of state owned enterprises, further optimizing the industrial compositions of foreign investment, expansion of scopes and areas of foreign investment and steady opening of China's commerce, trade, banking, insurance, stock exchanges, telecommunication, tourism and other fields to the outside world would encourage more foreign investment in agriculture, infrastructures, environmental protection and high tech industries. China encourages transnationals to direct their investment in China, especially in R&D and transforming state enterprises.

He briefed that to have more foreign capital flow in, Chinese authorities concerned have dished out incentive policies including encouraging foreign investment in technological development and innovation, strengthening the banking support for foreign invested business, encouraging foreign capital investment in China's mid and west sections and further improving the management and services for foreign invested businesses. In the meanwhile, Chinese Government will keep improving the laws and regulations and intensifying the law enforcement so as to protect the legal rights of investors and foreign invested businesses.

As shown by the statistics, by April 2000, China has approved the establishment of 347,873 foreign invested enterprises on a cumulative basis with an aggregate contractual investment of USD 620 billion. During the period from January to April this year, direct foreign investment and contractual investment has witnessed a steady increase. Of these investments, the ones from countries in Asia, Europe, Northern America and some free trade ports have kept increasing at large margin. As shown by the analysis, these foreign investments have covered extensiveareas with annually increased proportions for infrastructures and capital and technology intensive projects. Some foreign businesses have increased their investment so as to expand the production capacity and update the technology.

China Encourages Foreign Investment in West Mining

Chinese Government has recently revised its policies on foreign investment in China's mining industry and for the first time allowed foreign investors to apply for survey and mining rights in the country according to laws. To encourage foreign investment in the exploitation of rich mineral resources in its west section, China will soon publish relevant tax holiday policies and initiatives for improving the investment environment.

Zhong Weizhi, Director, Dept. of Geological Survey, Ministry of State Land Resources, disclosed that one of the said initiatives was to allow non-legal-person foreign enterprises to acquire survey and mining rights according to laws. He explains that the socalled non-legal-person foreign enterprise is the branch registered by foreign companies at relevant Chinese authorities as a non-legal-personentity in China. They may directly submit their applications for survey and mining rights and geological survey qualification certificate to Ministry of State Land Resources with the presentation of their non-legal-person business licenses. This important new policy ensures the legal right of investors and changed the old only approach that a foreign investor has to find Chinese partners with geological qualifications and mining rights when investing in China's mining industry.

In addition, there are some other supportive policies such as: improving the environment for foreign investment in China's mining industry and simplifying the application and approval procedures; tax holidays for using survey and mining rights; and foreign investors who are involved in survey and mining will enjoy tax relief or exemption treatment regulated for foreign invested businesses.




China's Engineering Information Network

Up to date, China's Engineering Technology Information Network, one of the networks with the richest information resources, has witnessed remarkable progress in tapping up its rich information resources. Not long ago, a hundred and more academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering visited the network and believed that it has lifted China's S&T information industry to a higher level.

China Engineering Technology Information Network is now the only professional information service network in the field of engineering technology in China. By taking advantage of modern information technologies and on the basis of electronically distributed information resources the Network featured with coordinated information processing and resources sharing provide services for S&T industrial management, decision making, research, engineering, technology and teaching personnel. With an on-line information database reaching 100 billion characters, the Network is proud of its rich information resources, fast transmission and reliable operation.

It is briefed that since its operation, the Network has basically realized the fast transmission and exchange of S&T information through improving the fast acquisition of information resources, coordinated operation and integrated supporting capacity. It has played a role in accelerating the birth of S&T results and nurturing modern information professionals. In addition, it has become an important means used by authorities concerned at different levels in decision making and management of China's defense modernization.

Northwest Expedition for Science
Popularization Kicked Off

Starting from this July, a group of Chinese scientists will launch their scientific expeditions over the socalled “Silk Road”. In the course of their expeditions, they will present scientific lectures and explore scientific approaches for “re-making” the beautiful land and rivers. At the end of their trip, four northwest routes for popular science and ecology based tourism will be selected.

As briefed by scientists of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's northwest region is just like a natural laboratory telling the environmental variations from ancient times to today. Studies of its environmental changes may help to understand the relationship between men and nature on a scientific basis. During the period from 36 ancient states headquartered in the west region to the Qin and Han dynasties, the northwest region was dominated by dense Populus diversifolia forests and enriched by abundant water and grasses. Unfortunately it has now becomea vast desert stripe. Scientific records have also demonstrated that in the last century, the northwest region has undergone drastic environmental changes. If people cannot learn the lessons from the historical facts, the modern oasis and thriving cities will be eventually devoured by sand like the ancient states in the west. The scientists hope they may work out the scheme to
rebuild the beautiful land and rivers in the region with modern science and technology after the expedition.

The expedition will have an opening ceremony at Beijing Tiananmen Square in late July 2000 and start its first leg from Xi'an. During the expedition scheduled for 40 and odd days, scientists will travel 7877 km over Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang.
Co-sponsored by Ministry of Science and Technology, Dept. of Public Awareness of CCPC, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Association for Science and Technology, Ministry of Culture and State Tourism Administration, the said effort is animportant component of massive popular science campaign to“let sciences be close to your life and let the public understand sciences” which was kicked off in Beijing not long ago.

Guangzhou's First Garbage Power Plant

Guangzhou will invest Rmb 630 million to build its first garbage power plant. The turn-key project contracted to a German company will be able to handle 1000 tons of daily garbage. Thanks to the application of world latest garbage incineration technologies and facilities, major indicators such as smoke and gas emission are much lower than those required by the national standards. As a result, its operation will impose no negative impacts on the surrounding environment.

At present, Guangzhou produces 4300 tons of living garbage everyday, accompanied by an annual increasing rate at 6.6%. The volume decreasing, utilization and unharmful treatment of urban garbage have a direct bearing on the survival environment of Guangzhou and its sustainable development. According to the master plan for Guangzhou's environment and sanitation, the treatment of urban garbage will be made on an integrated basis of controlled filling-up, incineration power generation, pile-up fertilizer and classified recycle so as to meet with the international sanitary level of volume decreasing, resources utilization and non-hazardous treatment. The new municipal garbage filling-up site will be up to the international sanitary standards. In the meanwhile, it is planned to build a large
garbage sorting center, a world class garbage power plant and a modern garbage fertilizer plant so as to make garbage treatment an environmental protection project, generating fine social, economic and environmental benefits.

Three Gorges Project Imposes No Apparent
Effects on Water Quality

2000 Report on Ecological and Environmental Monitoring for Three Gorges Project published by State Bureau of Environmental Protection on June 5 indicates that the overall natural ecological status of Three Gorges area remains intact and the construction of Three Gorges Dam has neither imposed apparent effects on the water quality of the mainstream and nor harmful effects on human health in the domain. However, the industrial and daily-life sewage emissions from the area and its adjacent areas have greatly affected the environment of Three Gorges area.

The authoritative government report adds that in 1999 major sub-projects of Three Gorges Project were moving ahead from base construction into concrete placing and the economy in the area kept a fast and steady growth with its GDP reaching Rmb 105.625 billion and population removed 218,800.

As shown by the monitoring results, the water quality in the area remain Grade II or Grade III in 1999. However apparent pollution belts can be seen at the lower reaches of the cities where most industrial and daily-life sewage are discharged. Chongqing Proper, Jiangjin Township, Changshou County, Fuling District and Wanzhou District are the major players discharging 93% of the total industrial sewage emissions in the area.

It deserves noting that the rural area in the domain is short of energy supply with sustaining declining of firewood forests and firewood stock, which in turn causes serious soil erosion with increasing accidents of landslides and mudslides. In 1999, there were 420 accidents of collapse, landslides and mudslides.

The Report also points out that the area was attacked by the accidents of ship pollution and garbage dumping. The slow process of pollution control has left most garbage dumped into the Yangtze River or piled up over the shore, which will have a negative effect on the water quality when the dam starts to store water.

Xie Zhenhua, Administrator, State Bureau of Environmental Protection, said the state has attached great importance to protecting the ecological environment of the Three Gorges area and the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River and it would intensify its control efforts during the period of the 10th Five-Year Plan.

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