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

N0.246 January 10,2001
    * China's Top Ten S&T Breakthroughs for 2000
    * China Encourages Foreign Investment in Non-Gas-Nor-Oil Mineral Resources 
    * Second Generation E-mail System
    * China's Full Digital Conditional Receiving System
    * China's First Elliptical Microscope Imaging System
    * China's First Man-like Robot
    * China's Advanced IC Design Technology

China's Top Ten S&T Breakthroughs for 2000

On January 4, 2001, Prof. Song Jian, President of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Prof. Lu Yong-xiang, President of Chinese Academy of Sciences had together with other 485 academicians of both academies screened out through voting China's top ten S&T breakthroughs in 2000. The results are sequenced in accordance with their wining votes as follows:

1. China has achieved major results in its super rice studies. The super hybrid rice breeding studies chaired by Yuan Longping, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering has turned out a super hybrid combination called “Liang You Pei Jiu”. Its extensive growth in the country has recorded a high unit yield of 700 kilos per mu;

2. China has for the first time in the world decoded the genetic secrets of shrimp diseases. Chinese scientists have successfully sequenced all the genomes of white bacilli, a major contributor to shrimp diseases. The development has laid afoundation for the molecule based biological studies of shrimp diseases;
3. The Metallurgy Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences has for the first time in the world observed the super plastic extension of nanometer metallic materials under indoor temperature. The Institute has also synthesized massive nanometer coppers of high density and purity with the size of their crystal grains being at only 30 nanometers. The nanometer coppers can be deformed by 50 and more times without showing creases;

4. Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry has synthesized highly active cancer killer matter-soap-glucoside compound with the yield of a single process reaching 20 and more milligrams, which has positioned China in the leading edge of the area in the world;

5. China has achieved major breakthroughs on the development and applications of high performance computers. Shenwei I developed by National Parallel Computation Engineering Technology Research Center has reached a peak speed of 384 billion floating points, ranked in the 48th place among 500 high performance computers running for commercial applications in the world;

6. China has for the first time in the world discovered matter wave interference phenomena. The scientists of Dalian Chemphysics Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences have made the first observation of the phenomena in their carbon dioxide molecule collision based energy transfer experiment. They have observed that the collisions between molecules may trigger the interference phenomena like light waves;

7. ChinaNet has opened its high speed wide band transmission system. Its total network transmission band width has reached 40 thousand megs with a mileage of 8490 km running though 17 major cities across southeast China;

8. China has for the first time in the world completed the pilot study of biological hydrogen making. Scientists of Harbin Architecture University extracted hydrogen from waste water with the help of bacteria and completed the pilot experiment;

9. China has for the first time in the world created electromagnetic biochips. Applied with new technical approaches, Dr. Cheng Jing and others of Tsinghua University have successfully developed electromagnetic biochips with independent intellectual property rights. Of the new achievements, single site selecting electromagnetic array technology and electronic spinning testing technology are the first of their kinds in the world;

10. Chinese National Defense S&T University has successfully developed China's first man-like robot. With a height of 1.4m, weight 20 kilos and certain language functions, the robot is able to walk two steps per second in a natural manner. It may also walk around in an undefined environment with limited deviations. It has achieved series breakthroughs such as on mechanic structures, control system structures, coordinated movement planning and control approaches.

China Encourages Foreign Investment in
Non-Gas-Nor-Oil Mineral Resources

The News Office of the Chinese State Council announced recently that China would further open its non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources prospecting and mining market, according to which foreign investors will be allowed to procure the prospecting and mining rights of non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources of large and medium Chinese enterprises.

In the Several Comments on Further Encouraging Foreign Investment in the Prospecting and Mining of Non-Gas-Nor-Oil Mineral Resources published on December 14, 2000, rights on the prospecting and mining are stipulated as follows:
-- Encourage foreign businesses to invest in non-gas-nor-oil mineral
resources' prospecting and mining in accordance with PRC Law on Mineral Resources and associated by-laws and the stipulations regulated in Guidance for the Sectors Allowing Foreign Investment;

-- Foreign businesses are allowed to prospect and mine non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources in the capacity of independent investment or joint ventures with Chinese partners;

-- When engaging in venture prospecting, foreign businesses shall gain the approval of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation prior to the registration at the Industry and Commerce Authorities according to law and submit its application for prospecting rights to Chinese Ministry of Land and Natural Resources;

-- When engaging in venture prospecting with Chinese partners who are of prospecting rights, the foreign investors shall sign cooperation contracts (agreements) with their Chinese partners so as to define the mutual rights and obligations. The contracts (agreements) shall be submitted to Chinese Ministry of Land and Natural Resources and Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation for approval;

-- Foreign businesses engaging in venture prospecting will be ensured of their legally granted priority mining rights when the non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources of economic values are discovered within the area granted for the prospecting;

-- Foreign businesses' application for establishing mining enterprises shall be subject to the approval of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, then make their registration at Industry and Commerce Authorities and submit their application for mining rights to Chinese Ministry of Land and Natural Resources;

-- When establishing a project for mining the non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources within the granted domain, the foreign businesses have to go through the procedures of infrastructure construction which are the major responsibility of Ministry of Land and Natural Resources and assisting responsibility of State Development Planning Commission. For the items which exceed the quota, the approval of the project shall be the responsibility of State Development Planning Commission;

-- When mining the non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources of economic values, foreign investors shall work out their master development plan prior to submitting their applications for mining rights to Ministry of Land and Natural Resources;

-- Foreign businesses are allowed to participate in non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources prospecting and mining activities with its advanced technologies or facilities as equities, and are allowed to procure the prospecting and mining rights of non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources of large and medium enterprises, with the ones forbidden by laws or regulations as exceptions.

-- The prospecting and mining rights of non-gas-nor-oil mineral resources procured by foreign investors can be transferred by law.

Second Generation E-mail System

Tianzheng Co. Ltd. subordinated to Peking University made the debut of its new generation e-mail system, Mail2G in Beijing on November 23, 2000. The new system has landed a breakthrough in the Internet-based information dissemination through working out the solutions to the problematic transmission and storage of online messages over the previous e-mail and FPF system.

It is briefed that the traditional E-mail was designed only for narrow bands. As a result, its protocol and technology have the birth defects that can not be solved in the system itself. Mail2G has been equipped with a new protocol, supporting software and matching hardware environment. While keeping all the functions and applications that the previous system did, the new system has removed the processes of coding and decoding documents and has greatly improved the transmission speed. To fence off the threat of E-mail bombs, Mail2G will not send mails directly into the mailbox, which eradicates the possible damages of trash mails. In the meanwhile, other new merits such as unrestricted receiving space, improved non-stop transmission, multiple security blocks and interface to future wide
band applications have made the new system bright market perspectives.
It is reported that the new system has got upgraded when necessary in the course of development and is technically a mature product ready for market applications.

China's Full Digital Conditional Receiving System


The full digital conditional receiving system made in China has been successfully developed by Tsinghua University recently. It is reported that the system constitutes the basis for introducing interactive TV system into people's daily life. As the said system is of high technical contents, the current Chinese market in this area has been monopolized by foreign manufacturers.

To master the technology of interactive TV and ensure the security and information integrity of Chinese TV broadcasting system, it took several years for the researchers of Tsinghua University and Tsinghua Tongfang to work out the new system and eventually hit the success. Upon passing the verification check, the experts pointed out that the successful development of the said system marks China's world advanced position in the area. Along with the applications of the system over cable TV networks in the country, people will become the beneficiary of the personalized cable TV service and change their approaches to selecting TV programs.

It is briefed that cable TV networks may broadcast their sea of coded data through wide band network and satellite-based transmission system and subscribers can order the programs or information they need through remote controller or set-top box. The new system can find extensive applications in such as stock market information retrieving, interactive entertainment, e-commerce, TV shopping and distance learning.

Breakthroughs in China's Space Physics
Studies and Observation


Chinese Academy of Sciences has recently invited space experts to ponder on the feasibility of the key technologies designed for China's dual-satellite earth and space observation program. Proposed by CAS' Space Center, the so-called dual-satellite program will use two mini satellites moving around the large elliptic orbit to observe wide energy band particles, high accuracy magnetic field and its oscillation over the polar regions and near-equator region that are believed critical to space environment variations. The proposal has attracted great attention of international community of space studies and been incorporated into international terrestrial physics program and become an important cooperative partner
in the grand Star Program II of European Space Agency. It is expected that the dual-satellite program may enhance its scientific benefits through such cooperation. In the meanwhile, collaborating with six other observation satellites, the development will constitute the most advanced earth-space observation program in the world and realize a leap progress for China's space observation technology.

The dual-satellite program will become China's first substantive involvement in international space and environment program. Aiming at understanding the mechanism triggering the magnetic space explosions, a tough challenge to the international communities of space studies, the program will provide scientific evidence and response strategies for improving China's space based military capacity, ensuring the security of China's space activities.

China's First Elliptical Microscope Imaging System


Not long ago the Institute of Dynamics under Chinese Academy of Sciences worked out China's first elliptical microscope imaging system capable of nanometer-level measurement and real time observation of dynamic changes of biological molecules and their interactions. The successful development of the instrument demonstrates another major breakthrough following series of other accurate measuring techniques such as microscopes, electronic microscopes and scanner tunnel probing device. The new development is of scientific importance and application per spectives for biomedical studies, new medicine screening, difficult diseases diagnosing, microelectronics and optical telecommunication.

The said new technology has opened new approaches to the studies and development of biomedicine, pharmacy and molecule biology, obtaining the information that conventional means could not provide and providing evidence for addressing biomedical issues such as the studies and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and medical effects on mussels. The said technology may also become a new means for regular immune examination of many diseases such as AIDS, flu and hepatitis. Its microscope imaging function may also serve for the measurement and testing means needed by nanometer applications, biological structuring technologies, microelectronic industry and optical telecommunication.

China's Breakthrough in Remote Sensing Technology


128 Optical Module Imaging System (OMIS) jointly developed by Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics and Shanghai Xiantong Institute of Information Technology passed the verification check on November 28, 2000. The successful development of the said system hallmarks China's internationally advanced position in the studies and applications of high spectrum resolution remote sensing technological system. Integrated with modern optics, sophisticated machinery and computer-based information technology, the system is an advanced optical scanner based ground
observation instrument taking advantage of both imaging and spectrum technologies. The system may reflect its spectrum characteristics while capturing the images of the objects, which has made space-based direct recognition of the objects on the earth possible.

China's First Man-like Robot


China's first man-like robot who has man's basic appearance and is able to walk man's steps made its debut at S&T University of National Defense on November 29, 2000. Named as Pioneer, the robot is of a height of 1.4 meters, weight of 20 kilos and equipped with man-like body, neck, head, eyes, arms and feet in addition to its limited language function. Comparing with the two-feet walking robot made by the same University in 1990, its dynamic walking frequency has been improved from one step per 6 seconds to two steps per second. The new robot has also seen breakthroughs in many key technologies such as the ability to walk in the uncon fined environment of little deviations rather than in the confined one as it did in the past.

On the basis of their former success in the previous prototype, the scientists of S&T University of National Defense have under the support of National 863 Program and Chinese National Natural Sciences Foundation, landed breakthroughs in the key technologies such as mechanic structures, control system, coordination movement planning and control approaches through their ten-year painstaking efforts, which have realized its forward, backward and side movement, right and left turning and arms swing actions. The development has upgraded China's studies of robot control
techniques to a new phase and provided new theories and approaches for making different functional systems such as nerve, physical sight, arms coordination and finger control. Experts believed that the birth of man-like robot has demonstrated China's advanced robot manufacturing techniques in line with its international counterparts.

China's Advanced IC Design Technology


Shanghai Jiaotong University announced on November 28, 2000 that its 0.25 μm deep submicron integrated circuit designing technique had passed the experts' verification and approval check, which made China one of a few countries in the world who have mastered advanced integrated circuit designing technologies following US and Japan.

The verification committee believed that more than a dozen of the designing techniques such as component modules and extended network developed by the Institute of Deep Submicron Integrated Circuit Design of Shanghai Jiaotong University have reached the internationally advanced level. Of these newly developed techniques, the theory on the integration of logic and physical design for 0.25 μm deep submicron chip design is the first of its kind in the world. To confirm its feasible applications, the Institute has also presented the chip samples made with the techniques to the committee.

The said techniques may find extensive applications in telecommunication, data storage, microprocessors, digital household appliances, multimedia etc. Of the size as small as a nail, the chip made with the techniques may house 5 million and more components. At present stage, China has to import advanced integrated circuit products which takes about 80% of the domestic market. The new development will change the situation and the pricing of the China-made made products upon its in dustrialization will be 50% less than that of the imported, making China's microelectronic industry of the strength to compete internationally.

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