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

N0.269 August 30,2001

* China Import & Export Trade Opened

* China's Information Process Indicator System

* China's Marine S&T Targets for the New Century

* China Reclaiming Forests and Grassland from Farming Land

* Major Progress in Sophisticated Laser Studies

* Robot Performing Surgical Operation

* Chinese Scientists Obtained Mountain Ice Core


China Import & Export Trade Opened

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation has recently issued a Circular in which new provisions were made on import and export enterprises' qualification management. According to the Circular, the previous approval system on import and export licensing shall be outdated and a so-called registration and verification system will be introduced, though the new provision is not applicable to foreign invested business.  The new rule indicates the complete outdating of the accession restriction imposed on the non-public owned economy in foreign trade activities.

The Circular provides that the enterprises who are qualified to apply for the operational right of foreign trade circulation shall have a registered capital no less than RMB 5 million ( no less than RMB 3 million for the businesses in the middle and west regions of the country) and other required qualifications. The manufacturing enterprises including the individual funded enterprises and partnership enterprises, when applying for import and export right for their own manufactured goods before the provincial or municipal foreign trade authorities delegated by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, shall have a registration capital no less than RMB 3 million (at least RMB 2 million for the middle and west regions and ethnic group areas, and no less than RMB 1 million for the research institutes, high tech enterprises and machinery and electronic products manufacturers) and other required qualifications.  The competent authorities in charge of certificate issuance shall make the decision on registration allowance within ten working days from receipt of the applications.

The Circular also provides that pursuant to the principle of independent application, open and transparent, unified standards and supervision according to law, the import and export qualification of enterprises in different ownerships (not including foreign invested enterprises, commercial goods supply, supply co-op and enterprises, border trade business in small volume, enterprises stationed in special economic zones and Pudong new zone) shall be entitled and managed under a unified standards and management rules. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation has authorized the foreign economic and trade authorities in provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities under direct jurisdiction of the Central Government and Ha'erbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Xi'an, Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Shantou and Xinjiang Construction Corps to handle the registration of import and export operation and issue the certificate on import and export of the People's Republic of China.

Before the publication of the said Circular, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation had twice loosened its restrictions on the import and export qualifications of privately owned enterprises on January 1st, 1999 and January 1st, 2000 respectively , then 1,000 and more enterprises were granted with import and export certificate. The outdating of the previous approval system on import and export operation qualification and the establishment of the registration and verification system have literally eliminated the restrictions on the accession of non-public owned economies to foreign trade.

China's Information Process Indicator System

On July 29, 2001, the Chinese Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom Industries made its national information process indicator composition system known to the public. The system is composed of 20 indicators as follows: per-thousand-person radio and TV broadcast time, per capita band width possession, per capita telephone on-call times, the length of long distance optic cables, the number of microwave channels, the number of satellite receiving stations, per-hundred-person telephone line possession, the number of cable TV stations for per thousand persons, the number of Internet subscribers for per million persons, the number of computers for per thousand persons, the number of TV sets for per hundred households, the total volume of network resources and data base, e-commerce transaction volume, the proportion of the fixed investment in industrial information technology in the total fixed assets investment in the same period, the proportion of the added values of information industry in GDP, the direct contribution of information industry to the GDP growth, the proportion of R&D budget of information industry in the nation's total R&D budget, the proportion of the investment in the information industrial infrastructure construction in the nation's total investment in infrastructure construction, and the proportion of college graduate per thousand persons and the information index etc..

China's Marine S&T Targets for the New Century

It is reported from the sources of the Chinese State Marine Bureau that the guiding principle of "rights and interests, fortune, health, security and S&T' has been finalized for China's future marine S&T activities on the basis of the careful and painstaking studies of experts. In the first five years of the new century, 12 development projects will enjoy the priority support.

These projects are: marine environment resources survey; construction of 2-3 national key labs and engineering centers so as to institute a basic 3-dimentional marine environment monitoring operation system for offshore areas; realizing the prediction for wind storm evading seashores, offshore sea wave forecasting and sea surface temperature forecasting; establishing basic marine geographic information system of medium scale; establishing ecological environment restoration demonstration zone and China's basic marine environmental protection information system; nurturing and breeding 10 species of fine quality, high yield and adversity resistance and 10 marine drugs and bioproducts of high added values; and developing technology series for prospecting continental offshore areas.

The Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Marine Bureau will work together to make China's marine R&D reach the level of the developed nations's in their mid 1990s in a period of five years with some of its areas approaching the internationally advanced level.  


Top Priority for Sand Control

Chinese State Forestry Bureau recently expressed that China has positioned desertification prevention and control on the top of the priorities for ecological reconstruction and accordingly worked out its strategic deployment for the combat against desertification.

According to the characteristics of its land desertification process, China's desertification areas were divided into five major types: dry desert brims and oasis, semi arid and semi moist sand area, cold plateau desertified land area, semi moist and moist sand lands over Yellow River and Huaihe River plains and moist sand land over the south.

Aiming at the different desertification processes in different regions and associated damages thus caused and their development trend, and on the basis of general requirements of China's national economic development for the construction of ecological environment, the projects on land desertification prevention and control are ranked at national priority and regional and local demonstration levels. The national priority projects include the ones for curbing the desertification process over Beijing area and Phase 4 project of 'Three-North" forest wind breaks, while the regional projects cover some local efforts such as desertification prevention and control project for Lhasa and its adjacent areas and the cleaning project for the ancient river routes of Yellow River.

Through the construction of the above mentioned projects, China will basically curb the expansion tendency of its land desertification processes by 2010 and realize the zero growth of desertification. By 2030, 60% of the sand land that can be controlled will receive effective treatment. By 2050, all the controllable sand land will basically be put under control except the original deserts and Gobi, and a relatively complete ecological system in the desertified areas will be established. Thus the coordinated economic, social and ecological development will go harmoniously.

China Reclaiming Forests and Grassland from Farming Land

As shown by the statistics, there are 91 million mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) of slope farming land at 25 degrees in China with 70% of them sitting in the west. As the result of destroying forests and pastures for farm land and farming over slopes, the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River areas have become one of the areas in the world suffering from the most serious soil erosion with the sand and mud washed into the Yangtze River and the Yellow river amounted to 2 billion and more tons each year, two thirds of which originated from the slope farming land.

China started its reclaiming efforts in Sichuan, Shaan'xi and Gansu Provinces in 1999. In 2000, China made the same efforts an important activity in the west development with pilot efforts spreading to 188 counties in 17 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. And also in the same year, 5.791 million mu of land were reclaimed which takes up 102.5% of the scheduled tasks. In the meanwhile, 7.17 million mu of the wild land were planted with trees and grasses, 102.2% of the schedule tasks. In 2001, China once again included more areas suffering serious winds and sands into the pilot experiment list and expanded the reclaiming efforts to 224 counties in 20 provinces and autonomous regions and municipalities in the middle and the west sections. 


Major Progress in Sophisticated Laser Studies

Shanghai Institute of Sophisticated Optic Machinery under the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced recently that they have obtained an electric power of 15×10(12) watts (15 terawatts) in a very short split second (35 flying seconds) on an optic platform of less than 10 square meters. The intensity of the said power is equal to several times that of the total sum of the grid power in the world.

Since 1996, the Open Optics Lab of the Institute has achieved steady progress in the super strong and short laser studies with the shortened time scale from 46 flying seconds to 35 flying seconds and the output intensity from 2.8 terawatts up to 15 terawatts. At present the Institute has become one of the few bases in the world possessing the first class experimental devices and is now working on the studies of several important cutting edge issues on super strong and short laser science under the national 973 Program.

China's Another New Super Hybrid Rice

On the basis of their more than two years' efforts, Chinese scientists announced on August 10, 2001 that they have bred out another new 'super rice'.  It is briefed that its extensive growing will eventually free super hybrid rice from chemicals '920', and reach the desirable objectives of reduced cost, stable increasing yield and less pollution.

Starting from the year 1997, Prof. Yang Rencui, Director of the Institute of Genetic Seeds Breeding under Fujian Agriculture University has been working on direct mutagenesis of the species to be improved with the combined applications of nuclear radiation and regular biological seeds breeding techniques so as to obtain a gene called eui that may genetically release the wrapped spike and enhance the physiological function of the paddy rice. On the said basis, he developed high stalk recessive hybrid rice, or named it e-hybrid rice, of apparent advantages. When applying the said technology into the super rice, he successfully turned out a new species.

China Discovers Gastrula of Ancient Animals

It was revealed recently from the sources of Chinese Academy of Geology that its Cambrian study group had discovered a gastrula fossil of phosphate among the phosphorous rocks on Mount Weng'andoushan, Guizhou Province. The discovery has secured a further confirmation on the controversial animal fetus fossils unearthed over the area and provided very valuable fossil evidence for studying the kinship among relevant fossils. The phosphorous rock layer of the area has instituted extremely fine conditions for the preservation of fossils. As a result, the fossils of living creatures in the area have not only been kept intact but of diversity characteristics, which make the site a desirable natural fossils bank for studying earlier life evolution.

Robot Performing Surgical Operation

A long robot arm planted a tiny surgical needle into the target spot on the head of a brain tumor patient and it took out the complete affected tissues in 20 minutes. The said description illustrated the scene using a robot to perform the distant brain surgery for the first time in the country.

Not long ago, the medical robot of the Navy General Hospital successfully performed the brain surgical operation at the operation theater, though the experts who sent the operation command to the robot were physically located in another building about a thousand meters away from the theater. The said medical robot for distant operation were jointly developed by the Robot Institute of Beijing Aviation and Space University and the Navy General Hospital. 

President for the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences

The Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences has recently announced its plan for the recruitment of its president in public.  Eleven position seekers have responded to the recruitment. Among the said 11 candidates, there are domestically renowned atmospheric experts as well as research fellows who are working abroad in the capacity of visiting scholar. One of them has obtained Swedish nationality and two others have stayed abroad for a long time. Most of the candidates were born in the 1960s with the youngest interviewee being only 36 years old. Crowned with the titles of doctorate or research fellows, all of them are the experts enjoying high academic reputation in the fields of atmospheric sciences, thunder and lightening applications, remote sensing applications and related disciplines. At the interview meeting, the position seekers were asked to make a 20-minute presentation before answering the questions raised by the judge panel consisting of academicians of both Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering. It is briefed that the recruitment result will be publicized in late August 2001.

Chinese Scientists Obtained Mountain Ice Core

The Mushigeta Glacier Expedition Team of Chinese Academy of Sciences has recently drilled out an ice core bar of 70 meters long at a site of 6300 m above sea level on Mushigeta Peak, which is nicknamed "father of glacier mountain". It is briefed that it is the first time that Chinese scientists independently drilled out a mountain ice core and the ice core obtained is of the best quality in the world for it was obtained from a mountain located at middle and lower latitude, which is of precious academic value to studying the climate variations over the middle and lower latitude areas. Contained in an ice box, the said ice core will be delivered to Lanzhou for further studies. It is believed that the findings of the researches on the ice core will be of great importance to understanding the relationship between greenhouse gases and climate changes, glacier moisture resources, and the relationship between glacier shrinking and desertification.  The obtaining of the said ice core marks a major progress achieved by the Chinese scientists in the field of ice core studies.

It is reported that the ice core drilled out by the expedition team at heavy crystal belt is of high fidelity for greenhouse gases and climate data thus retained. Scientists may measure the concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide, etc for different historical stages. The said ice core is the only medium at present through which the historical evolution relationship between greenhouse gases and temperature variations can be directly deducted. In the meanwhile, Chinese scientists will be working on the extraction of DNA of the ancient microbes from the ice core and conduct a series of studies on heavy metals and organic matters in the ice core.

Genome Experimental Platform

On June 26, 2000, the international genome community published its human genome working map which included the contribution of the Chinese scientists. Now China's portion of the final map of this "moon-climbing life project" has been completed ahead of schedule and will soon be evaluated by the scientists from both home and abroad in August 2001. The data gathered from China's three research institutes involved in the project are in the final stage of consolidation and completion. Compared with the previously published working charts, the finished map will raise the human genome coverage from 90% to 100% and accuracy from 99% to 99.99%. As briefed by experts, the finished map will provide more accurate genome data for follow-up studies and applications.

It is briefed that the Chinese Institute of High Energy Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is constructing China's first and the largest molecule experiment station that will open to the domestic biological R&D clients and provide them with experimental platform of internationally advanced level.  Experts expressed that the post genome studies would face more extensive data studies while the progress of these studies would mainly depend on the sophistication of R&D facilities. With numerous merits such as high purity, accurate calculation and fine stability, the synchronous radiation device has been extensively employed by the developed nations in their post genome studies, with which the molecule composition studies that usually should take 27 years to complete now only need one day.

       Comments or inquiries on editorial matters or Newsletter content should be directed to:Mr. Cheng Jiayi, Department of International Cooperation, MOST 15B, Fuxing Road Beijing 100862, PR China  Tel: (8610)68512650 Fax: (8610) 68512594                   http://www.most.gov.cn