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

N0.274 October 20,2001

China's First Complete Survey on Research and Development

China's Four Major Satellite Platforms

China's First Common Chips

World First Chip for Graphics

China-Norway Joint Polar Studies

Microsoft China Research into Microsoft Asia Research

Oil Process for Waste Plastics Treatment


China's First Complete Survey on Research and Development 

On October 11, 2001, seven Chinese governmental agencies including the Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Statistics Bureau jointly announced the major results on the survey of China's research and development resources. The survey results have shown that in 2000, China's domestic R&D expenditures reached RMB 89.6 billion, or 17.9% up against that of the same period of the previous year. China's R&D budget made 1% of its total GDP in the year. When measured by the internationally accepted intensity indicator for R&D input, China has positioned itself in the front of the developing nations.

Of the said total R&D budget, the part spent on basic studies amounted to RMB 4.67 billion, or 5.2% of the total, on applied studies RMB 15.21 billion, or 17% that of the total and on experiments and development RMB 69.72 billion, or 77.8% of the total. The budget for basic studies has landed an increase of RMB 1.22 billion against that of last year, or secured a growth of 35.3%. China's basic study budget remains low though recent years have witnessed increased input for basic studies in the country. 

The survey results also show that the R&D budget allocated by industrial enterprises has climbed up to 60.3% of the nation's total with the ones made by state owned independent R&D institutes and universities at 28.8% and 8.6% respectively.

As far as the amount of R&D budget is concerned, industrial enterprises have become the mainstream of China's R&D activities. Classified in economic sectors, the first three enjoying the highest R&D budgets are industry, scientific research and education, while the areas proud of their highest R&D budget are Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai.

As shown by the survey data, China's R&D activities have been intensified with remarkably increased input, demonstrating a fine development trend, though there remain some problems such as low total amount and low overall level with structural defects. China's budget for basic studies has recorded a percentage of only 5.2% of the total. Even plus the portion on applied studies, its weight only accounts for 22.2%, while the same indicator in other countries usually sits at around 40%, which shows its weaker supporting role for the technical innovations in the country. These data also shows that China sees a large gap from developed nations in terms of the technical density of its industries.

China's Four Major Satellite Platforms

Xu Fuxiang, President of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology announced at the High Tech Forum for Chinese Industries held in earlier October this year that China has completed the construction of its 4 satellite platforms, namely retrievable remote sensing satellites, Dongfanghong-telecommunication broadcasting satellites, Fengyun-meteorological satellites and Practice-scientific expedition and technical experiment satellites. In the meanwhile, Resources-earth resources satellites and the Plough-navigation satellites will soon be developed into their own series. The said four satellite series have jointly constituted the firm basis for China's satellite service platforms.

It is briefed that the retrievable remote sensing satellites have achieved encouraging results on materials and life science experiments under microgravity and space environment, life science related experiment and space based seeds breeding. The ten Dongfanghong telecommunication satellites so far launched have provided satellite based telecommunication services for different economic sectors with remarkable social and economic benefits. The five Fengyun weather satellites strolling over the sky and associated applications have played important roles in China's weather forecast and meteorological studies. The six Practice satellites launched for scientific expedition and technical experiments have been used for making scientific experiments on space environmental sounding, individual particle effects and etc. The Resources earth satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil has found its extensive data applications in numerous sectors such as agriculture, forestry, hydraulic works, mining, energy, mapping and environmental protection. In October and December of 2000, China successfully launched two Plough experimental navigation satellites respectively, which laid a foundation for the all-weather and round-clock satellite navigation service for highway and railway traffic and marine operations.

China's First Common Chips

On October 13, 2001, the Institute of Computation Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that China's first common chip, named "Dragon Chip" was born on the basis of one-year and more efforts of Chinese scientists. Equivalent to the performance of Intel 486, the dragon chip is of 6 million and more crystal tubes and capable of acting upon 250 and more commands. It has not only reached internationally advanced level in terms of its CPU structure design techniques but also landed innovations for system security.

Fully compatible with MIPS chips and able to operate under Linux 2.4 and X-Window environment, the dragon chip is a high performance CPU chip for common applications. It has passed a series of performance tests and had its chip logic design verified for its correctness. Thanks to its binary coding and decoding system developed independently, the chip is able to work on PC programs.

It is reported that the Institute is planning to start the production of the said chips next year and expecting to work out CPU chips for commercial applications within one year. Chinese scientists are planning to develop the chips equivalent to Pentium III in 2003 and make them reach the then internationally advanced level in 2005.

China Decoded Rice Genome

On October 12, 2001, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the State Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly announced that China has completed its working chart on rice genome and promised public sharing of its data. This development has made China the second country following the US in the world capable of independent genome sequencing, assembling and analyzing.

The Genome Information Center under the Chinese Academy of Sciences kicked off its rice genome study with long grained rice as its father (similar studies in other countries used Japan's rice as the father) and completed the sequencing of 430 million base pairs, or several dozen times that of for sequencing 1% human genome. It is briefed that the academic papers on the result have been published in relevant domestic journals and websites before its acceptance by overseas academic journals. It is reported that scholars both at home and abroad have made their strict counterpart review of the said results.

World First Chip for Graphics

Zhongxing Electronics Co. Ltd. physically located in Zhongguancun, Beijing has recently worked out its real time image transmission chip for PC applications, the first of its kind in the world.The chip called Zhongxing I is a super integrated circuit made up of millions of crystal tubes with the help of deep submicron technique. Of numerous advanced features such as high resolution imaging and easy for technical upgrading, the said chip may find extensive applications in digital camera, computer based picture shooting, visible network and security monitoring. As shown by the experts' testing and verification, the said chip has reached the level of Intel Pentium series. At present Zhongxing I chip has been put into its commercial production and found its applications in the products manufactured by renowned IT manufacturers such as Samsung and Legend etc..  


China-Norway Joint Polar Studies

To build up China's first Arctic Scientific Expedition Station, Chinese Arctic Expedition team arrived in Tromso, a northern city in Norway in the early morning of October 17, 2001. The team had academic exchanges with the Norwegian Polar Institute located there and listened to the suggestions of Norwegian experts on the establishment of China's Arctic Station. The scientists of both countries expressed that they would strengthen the academic cooperations in the field of Arctic studies and share the results of their studies on the impacts of Arctic region on the global climate and environment.

Mr. Gao Dengyi, Head of the Chinese Expedition Team and an atmospheric physicist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences expressed that Norwegian Polar Institute has long been in the leading position in the world on the studies of Arctic glacier and animals. In addition to academic exchanges in the said fields, the Chinese scientists are planning to conduct joint studies with the Norwegian Institute on other topics such as Arctic climate and environment and ink a relevant agreement on such joint studies in the next two years.

The Chinese Arctic Expedition Team left Tromso on the morning of October 19 for Svalbard, the last leg of this expedition and will build there China's first Arctic Station, at which multiple disciplinary scientific studies of the Arctic Region lasting for three years will be conducted.

China-Japan Joint Study of Dinosaur Footprint

Recently the Paleontological Research Center under Gansu No. 3 Institute of Geological Mineral Resources has inked an agreement with Japan’s Museum of Fukui County on a three-year study of the dinosaur footprint unearthed in Yongjing County of Gansu Province, the largest of its kind so far discovered in the world.  In the mid March 2001, Chinese geologists discovered 100 and more fossils bearing clear dinosaur footprints at the Yellow River bank in the Yongjing county based on their half year efforts. One of the footprint groups measured the largest of its kind so far discovered in the world, with its length sitting at 1.5 meters and width 1.2 meters, or 30 cm longer than that of lizard-foot dinosaur footprint discovered in Korea, the largest of its kind previously recorded in the world. It is briefed that the relics have housed two kinds of huge footprints of lizard-foot dinosaur: one records the slim footprints and the other bird-foot-like footprints, both of which are dotted with the traces showing tail supporting, lying and droppings. The discovery is very rare in the world and of valuable scientific importance.. 

 Body Cell Cloned Ox

Mr. Zhou Qi, a Chinese biologist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the scientists of French National Agronomy Institute, has successfully worked out the world first ox cloned with medium phased body cells through the improvement of the synchronous cell cycle method and application of injury cutting technique. Since its birth until now it has been three months, and the said cloned ox is growing healthily with all its physiological indicators sitting at normal level. Researchers expressed that the said technique would greatly improve the efficiency of animal cloning and is of great importance to cloning technique studies.  


Microsoft China Research into Microsoft Asia Research

Microsoft announced on October 17, 2001 that it has renamed its China research center to Microsoft Asia Research for the purpose of promoting t academic exchanges between China and other Asian countries and regions.

It is reported that Microsoft has five research institutes in the world with a population of more than 650. The former Microsoft China Research who is of three years of age has been staffed with more than 100 top caliber researchers and over 200 visiting research fellows and graduates. At present, Microsoft China Research has covered the major studies on digital media, user interface, wireless, network and natural languages, all of which will play important roles in the future development of the world software industry.

Brain and Cognition Center

Peking University’s Brain and Cognition Science Center announced its formal inauguration on October 18, 2001. The core expertise of the Center are gathered from the Department of Psychology, the Life Science Institute, the Information Science Center, the Neurology Institute, the Psychological Health Institute and the hospitals that are all subordinate to the University. The Center will undertake major basic studies assigned by the state and conduct its multi-disciplinary studies of human brains’ composition and function from the angles of molecule and cells, system, cognition and behavior at different levels, so as to explore cognition and nerve mechanism of brain’s information process and create practical computation models.

S&T Demonstration Park for Environment Protection

To intensify its efforts on developing environmental protection industry, Beijing Municipal Government has decided to establish an environmental protection S&T demonstration park of the domestically advanced technologies in Zhongguancun. Covering an area of 4 km2 and consisting of comprehensive R&D base, popular science education base and demonstration and trading center, the said park will be mainstreamed with R&D of technologies and products for energy related environmental protection and associated scientific instruments. The development targets of the park are: by 2010 turning out one or two environmental protection group enterprises of international competitiveness with an annual output value exceeding RMB 2 billion and the total annual output value of the park reaching RMB 10 billion or more.

Oil Process for Waste Plastics Treatment

Recently Shenzhen Green Environment Protection Co. Ltd. has extracted #90 gasoline and #0 diesel from waste plastics. The said event shows that China's oil process of waste plastics treatment has for the first time reached the national standards and realized industrial production, paving a new way for the environment friendly disposal of waste plastics.

The said company has successfully developed the set of equipment and technologies of independent intellectual property rights for such treatment, which makes it the first one in the country having entered the phase of industrialized treatment of waste plastics. Up to date, the company has established 17 bases for oil process treatment of waste plastics and developed an annual capacity for disposing 25,000 tons of waste plastics and producing 20,000 tons of gasoline or diesel.

As shown by the verification results, all the indicators on the #90 gasoline and #0 diesel it produced have reached the national standards.

New Container Detector

The cobalt-60 γ ray based cesium iodide container detector system jointly developed by the Chinese Academy of Atomic Energy Sciences and No. 1 Institute under the Ministry of Public Security recently passed its technical checks. The said result constitutes another breakthrough in China's container detecting technology following the previous success for the fixed container detector system developed by Chinese scientists in May 1999.

Being a system satisfying the needs for inspecting international standard containers, the new container detector system has seen remarkable improvement in sale price, maintenance costs, size, manufacturing cycle and radioactive level with its major performance indicators basically in parallel against its foreign counterparts.

       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