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

N0.229 July 20,2000

    * China's Second Spaceship to be Launched
    * China's Leading Position in Remote Sensing
    * China's World Advanced Soybean Species
    * China's Pig Gene Sequencing Project
    * Successful Launch of China's Smallest Satellite
    * Fengyun Ⅱ Meteorological Satellite Positioned
    * China's Third Generation Mobile Phone 
    * China's Largest Knowledge Network

China's Second Spaceship to be Launched

Following the successful launch and recovery of its first spaceship “Divine Ship”, China's second manned spaceship is in the process of technical tuning and readjustment before its taking-off.

It is reported that comparing to the first one, the second remains of a space for three astronauts but with greatly reduced total weight, simplified indoor operation and more scientifically laid-out cables. The latest efforts have made its contributions to the improvement of overall indicators of the future manned spaceship.

China has started its preparation for the manned flight of its spaceship with smooth progress for astronaut training. Studies ensuring the astronauts' safety against magnetic radiation, meteorites shower and agravity are in the process. Labs simulating space environment have been created and space garment and food are also under the development.

It is reported that the designing of cable modules and space life technology has proven mature in China's satellite applications. The successful application of the said technologies in the second spaceship has not only greatly reduced the interior cable network but also made the cable lay-out more reasonable. The return cabin and orbit cabin with cable modules have greatly reduced the possibility of injuries as the cables no longer be exposed at the surface. Its weight is 100 kilos lighter than its predecessor.

China's Raw Chemicals Output: World Second

Yu Mingde, Director of Dept. of Medicines, National Economy and Trade Commission, disclosed not long ago that China's output of raw chemicals has ranked in the second place in the world. The technological development of some major raw chemicals has witnessed breakthrough progress with the technological and economic indicators of some products being in the international leading position.

It is briefed that biotechnology is the one imposing the largest implications onnational economy in the 21st century and is also one of the areas enjoying the fastest growth. China has worked out its development plan and matching industrial policies and over 200 institutions are engaged in the relevant biotechnical studies with 140 enterprises in the development of biomedical products.
Among several dozens of bioengineering products commercialized internationally, China has been able to manufacture nearly 20 of them with an annual output value of Rmb 3 billion. China's pharmaceutical patent applications have reached 6000 in number including about 5000 new products. In addition, China's medical instrument manufacturing is working in the direction of high technologies and more added values.

Sophisticated large medical equipments such as color B-scanning, synchrotron, positron tomoscan have been industrialized and exported to European and American market. In 1999, China's pharmaceutical industry realized a profit of Rmb 10.48 billion, of which industrial production took Rmb 9.78 billion, 26% up than last year and the best record in the past five years.

China's Leading Positionin Remote Sensing

An expert of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said China's internationally advanced remote sensing technology has been extensively applied in food production, resources monitoring and disaster prediction.

Nie Yueping, Director, the Dept. of Science and Technology, the Institute of Remote Sensing, CAS, expressed that while applying remote sensing technology in foodyield predictions, Chinese scientists' image and data processing capability has reached the same level as their American and European counterparts have though China's complicated crops distribution constitutes a difficult problem to mastering the technology. At present, the Institute of Remote Sensing has provided nation wide agricultural products growth and yield predictions to the National Development and Planning Commission on a 15-day basis.

The Institute has also monitored urban expansion and farmland use activities with satellite remote sensing technologies. As a result, a large number human and material resources were saved. Remote sensing has played an irreplaceable role in flood and draught monitoring and forecast.

Nie said that the Institute's next target is to make global agricultural productyield predictions. The global predictions will help Chinese farmers to readjust their agricultural production plans, which is not only going along with the economic globalization trend but also an important endeavor on developing China's own agriculture after China's accession to WTO.


China's World Advanced Soybean Species

Applied with modern breeding techniques to improve soybeans' quality, Chinese scientists have dished out a number of fine soybean species of the world advanced level.

Chines scientists working for Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have through gene decoding cultivated the world first soybean species without its raw smell. Having passed the experts' verification check, the new species will become apopular soybean food welcomed by consumers both at home and abroad and impose far reaching implications on soy been processing industry.

China's wild soybeans are of high proteins and strong disease resistance though deplore for low yield and creeping growing habit. Through the introduction of genes from wild soybeans,
Prof. Lei Bojun, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has developed “Heisheng 101” with a protein content as high as 47%, fine disease resistance and a yield 8% higher than that of common species The Chinese developed genetic breeding technology will ease people's worries on soybeans genetically modified with genes of different plant species. So far the new species have grown over an area of 600,000 and more hectares.

The linolenic acid in soybean's fat would oxygenate soybean's fat and make it decay. The immersion oil production is of special deacidification process which however damages many healthy nutritious elements. The Soybean Institute, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has for the first time in the world cultivated new soybeans with low linolenic acid. The soybean oil extracted from the new species is able to extend its quality guarantee period from half a year to 2years. In the meanwhile, the processing techniques are simplified and costs lowered while presenting better tastes with more nutrition.

China is the source place of soybeans with rich species resources for both wild and domestic soybeans. Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and others have made chemical analysis of 20,000 and more domestic soybeans species and discovered that their average protein content reaches 44.3%, 2.06% higher than their overseas counterparts. The same analysis on 6115 wild soy beans has produced more shocking results revealing an average protein content as high as 46.2%.

China's Pig Gene Sequencing Project

Chinese scientists announced on July 3, 2000 that China-Denmark Domestic Pig Gene Sequencing Project, the second initiative of China Biological Resources Genome Program, was kicked off formally. The project is aiming at rapidly promoting the improvement of domestic pig species, allogenic transplantation and biomedical studies.
This is another important action taken by Chinese scientists on genome and biological studies after the completion of their mission sequencing 1% of the human genome.

It is quoted from the sources of the Human Genome Center of the Institute of Genetics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, that it is of great importance for China to conduct the above mentioned studies although some EU countries such as Germany and Denmark have already jointly worked on the same field. Pork is the major animal protein sources of Chinese. The studies of pig's modified genes will not only open new organ sources for human allogenic transplantation but may also bring out the results that can be utilized by pharmaceutical industry for mass production of genetically modified medicines.

China is the largest country in the world producing and consuming pork. The reproduction and consumption of pork are associated with the interest of 1 billion and more Chinese consumers and millions of pig raising farmers. Domestic pig gene decoding will be helpful for the improvement of pig's genes, pork meat quality and economic benefits of pig raising industry.

Another important fact is that the man is of a closer kinship with the pig and the latter has long been the major animal model for studying human diseases. Decoding its genes at the molecular level will help people to address some important issues.

Thanks to its involvement in the world human genome project, China's current gene sequencing capacity has been ranked in the fourth place after US, UK and Japan but followed by France and Germany.

China's Super Hybrid Rice Genome Project, the first initiative of “China's Biological Resources Genome Program”, was kicked off last May.

Successful Launch of China's Smallest Satellite

On July 7, 2000, the Space Technology Center of Tsinghua University announced that “Tsinghua Space I”, the smallest satellite launched in China a week ago, has seen the completion of its designated measuring and control mission with smooth running status. This implies the breaking-off of the monopoly by specialized national agency and the steady involvement of some universities, research institutions and enterprises of the strength in the area.

At 6:37, June 28, 2000, Tsinghua Space I was sent by Russian made Cosmos-3M carrier rocket from a Russian space center into the orbit and the satellite was guided into 700-km solar synchronous orbit as planned.

With a weight of only 50 kilos and a volume of 0.07 cubic meter and an investment of Rmb tens of million, it took only one year time for the owners to complete the development and manufacturing of this flight vehicle integrated with many high technologies relating to manufacturing, material, information and space.

The socalled mini satellites whose weight is under 100 kilos are the new generation satellites appeared recently. With the merits of high technology content and lower development and manufacturing costs, mini satellites can take place of large satellites by distributed constellations. Up to now, the lightest satellite in the world has a weight of only several hundred grams. “Tsinghua Space I” is China's first mini satellite with a weight of under 100 kilos.

“Tsinghua Space I” has applied three-axle stable system which was used by large satellites in the past. Many international advanced technolgies such as install methods, data transmission, processing and reception are also applied.
It is reported that the new mini satellite will undertake the scientific experiments of the latest space and communication technologies. Then it will be used commercially in disaster monitoring, communication, navigation and space exploration.


Fengyun Ⅱ Meteorological Satellite Positioned

At 21:28, July 3, 2000 Beijing Time, China's Fengyun Ⅱ Meteorological satellite was smoothly guided into its designated earth synchronous orbit under the tracking control of the Xi'an Satellite Monitoring and Control Center.

Fengyun Ⅱ was launched by March Ⅲ carrier rocket at Xichang Satellite Launching Center on June 25, 2000. After it entered the earth synchronous transfer orbit, Xi'an Satellite Monitoring and Control Center organized relevant monitoring
stations and marine measuring vessels to track and control the satellite through five prescribed captures and one orbit shifting. They have also completed various complicated measuring and controlling tasks, which laid solid foundation for the last position of the satellite.

Fengyun Ⅱ is China's second earth synchronous meteorological satellite launched so far. Applied with many new technologies, the satellite is able to monitor the global weathers on a 24-hour basis, collecting and transmitting meteorological, marine and hydrological data, solar X ray and space particle data. The satellite is of a designed working life for three years. The satellite will be handed over to the National Satellite Meteorological Center for its use after a period of on-orbit testing.

China's Third Generation Mobile Phone

It is disclosed that China will put its third generation mobile telephones into operation at the end of next year and the business licenses for the operation will be granted to China Mobile Telecom, China Unicom and China Telecom respectively.

China has recently seen new breakthroughs for its telecommunication technologies with its 3G mobile telephone technologies as advanced as that of Japan and Korea though with some gaps from Northern American and European technologies. Recent years have enjoyed the fast growth of mobile telephone market at two digit level in China with almost one handy per person in major coastal cities in the southeast of China. However the backward telecommunication technology has seriously impeded the development of China's telecommunication market though it is of great potentials. To change this situation, China has invested Rmb 300 million in the research and development of the third generation mobile telecommunication technologies. It is reported that it only took China Rmb 100 million budget to master the relevant technologies and it is planned to go into the experimental applications next year. Hopefully the new generation will make their official debut at the end of next year or earlier 2002.

In addition, You Xiaohu, head of the research and development of 3G telecommunication system expressed that the market share of China's 3G mobile telephones would reach 50% by 2010, Surpassing that of 2G and 2.5G GSM or CDMA. It is reported
that China had mobile telephone subscribers totaled 40 million last year with an expected growth of 25 to 30 million this year, reaching a total of 70 million.

China's Largest Knowledge Network

Collaborated with Tsinghua University, Electronics S&T University has established China Network of Knowledge Infrastructures (CNKI) on its campus, the first in Sichuan Province and the largest of its kind in the country.

It is reported that CNKI is a huge system project covering different socialsectors. It contains 5000 periodicals and 300 and more major newspapers published after 1994, covering 100 and more topics. In the meanwhile, it will create database for conference proceedings and fine doctorate and master papers. It will also upgrade and introduce a dozen of overseas knowledge banks in full dimension. Users may have the access to sea of data and information in the system through numerous center net
works dotted over the country.

       Comments or inquiries on editorial matters or Newsletter content should be directed to:Mr. Dong Jianlong, Department of International Cooperation, MOST 15B, Fuxing Road Beijing 100862, PR China  Tel: (8610)68512650 Fax: (8610) 68512594, or Mr. Wang Jianping, Editor,NEWSLETTER, 15 Fuxing Road Beijing 100038, PR China, Tel:(8610) 68515544 Ext. 2580