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

N0.295 May 20,2002

* Launching Two Satellites with One Rocket

* China's New Foreign Exchange Policies

* Foreign S&T Brokerage Welcomed

* Remote Watch on Farming Activities

* China-UK Developed Cancer Diagnosing Equipment

* CAS Opened SCI

* China's Budget for Electric Autos


Launching Two Satellites with One Rocket

At 9:50, May 15, 2002, China sent from Taiyuan Satellite Launching Center Fengyun I-D meteorological satellite and Marine I marine exploration satellite, the first of its kind in the country into the prescribed orbit with its home-made Long March IV-B carrier rocket.

With a payload of 950 kilos and a designed life span for 2 years, Fengyun I-D is a solar synchronous satellite for meteorological applications, which is operated by the National Satellite Meteorological Center and mainly serves for the purposes of weather forecast, climate prediction, natural disasters and ecological environment watch. Fengyun I series constitute China's first generation polar orbit meteorological satellites with it's A, B and C satellites launched in September 1988, September 1990 and May 1999 respectively. Up to now, Satellite C has kept working properly in the orbit for three years. Compared with satellite C, Satellite D launched this time has seen some technical improvements for its reliability and stability. Now China enjoys the data provided by dual polar orbiting meteorological satellites in addition to its two Fengyun II geostationary meteorological satellites already working in the orbit. This launch has made China the third country in the world who have two different meteorological satellites working simultaneously in the orbit.

With a payload of 368 kilos and a designed life span for two years, Marine I satellite is China's first solar synchronous experimental operational satellite with visible and infrared channels mainly for sea water color and temperature sounding. The satellite is mainly designed to understand the distribution of oceans' primary productivity, marine fishery, aquatic culture resources and environmental quality through collecting data on sea water optical properties, chlorophyll concentration, sea surface temperature, suspended mud and sand, soluble organic matter and marine pollutants, while keeping monitoring other elements such as sea water, offshore topography, sea currents and aerosols over sea surface. The satellite will also serve for understanding the distribution of suspended mud and sand over major river harbors and ports and providing scientific evidences and basic data for rational development and utilization of marine biological resources, coastal marine projects, harbor and port management, marine environment watch, environment protection and associated law enforcement. Currently the two satellites are moving as expected.

The successful launch and smooth operation of Fengyun D-1 and Marine I satellites has shown that China has basically established its satellite based ground observation system made up of meteorological, resources and marine satellites for long-term stable operation, which is of great importance to accelerating China's meteorological modernization, improving its severe weather forecasting capability, enhancing its marine resources watching, investigation and development capacity and promoting the national economic development.

China's New Foreign Exchange Policies

Chinese Foreign Exchange Control Authorities recently expressed that a number of new policies on foreign exchange control would be staged. These policies will aim at promoting the reform of foreign exchange account management system, supporting enterprises' foreign trade activities and strengthening foreign exchange balance watch. The new policies will allow Chinese enterprises entitled with import and export license to open their own foreign exchange settlement account upon the approval of foreign exchange authorities. And the amount of such an account shall be determined and updated according to the foreign exchange revenues of the enterprises. China will also extend its experimental efforts for introducing foreign exchange account information management system for the purpose of gradually realizing real time oriented control.

It is briefed that China will simplify its import and export checking procedures for the conveniences of enterprises while strengthening its supervision. On the basis of subsystems for export in foreign exchange and balance checking under the electronic port law enforcement system, China will extend its time limit for distant foreign exchange earning filing and further simplify its checking procedures for qualified export businesses. In the meanwhile, some of the required registration procedures for import foreign exchange payment will no longer be needed though import foreign exchange payment examination mechanism will be established to handle overdue payments in a classified manner.

China will popularize its individual foreign exchange purchase information management system so as to facilitate individuals' demand for foreign exchanges while improving the means for monitoring individuals' foreign exchange purchasing. Up to date, the individual foreign exchange purchase information management system has been running smoothly on an experimental basis and effectively prevented individuals' redundant purchase of foreign exchanges. The Chinese Foreign Exchange Control Authorities will soon extend the system to the whole country with following major points: formulating unified market access procedures and conditions, allowing qualified foreign exchange banks to open foreign exchange sales to individuals so as to provide improved banking service for individuals and encourage fair competitions among banks.

China will strengthen its foreign exchange control in the field of insurance, regulate such activities and introduce supervision mechanism. To meet the fast insurance business growth after China's accession to WTO, the Chinese Foreign Exchange Control Authorities will in the near future issue relevant regulations on insurance oriented foreign exchange controls so as to exercise a unified management over the foreign exchange businesses of both Chinese and foreign invested insurance institutions.

China will further reform foreign exchange settlement system for foreign invested businesses and domestic or overseas foreign exchange loans management, simplify approval procedures and strengthen indirect management. On the previous experimental basis, China will work out unified implementation plan to allow qualified foreign exchange banks to handle foreign exchange settlement of foreign invested businesses, registration of domestic or overseas foreign exchange loans and management of loan repayment with one's own foreign exchange reserves. Chinese Foreign Exchange Control Authorities will supervise enterprises' foreign exchange balance through monitoring banks' implementation of relevant regulations.

In addition, China will strengthen its verification of capital investment by foreign invested businesses and improve the registration of foreign capital inflow; clear and gradually solve foreign exchanges advanced for bank credit card businesses and improve banks' assets quality; gradually establish and improve external monitoring system and strengthen the supervision of banks' foreign exchange balance; and strengthen the monitoring and prewarning of the international foreign exchange balance so as to prevent the attack of short-term capital flows.

Foreign S&T Brokerage Welcomed

Mr. Xu Guanhua, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology recently expressed that China would encourage overseas brokerage firms to serve China's domestic S&T businesses. After its accession to WTO, China will be involved in the global economic and S&T process on a more extensive and higher basis while expanding its opening to the outside world and strengthening its international cooperation and exchanges in the field of science and technology.

Mr. Xu added that in addition to encouraging opening business office of international academic organization in China and implementing the international S&T cooperation priority projects, China would, in accordance with the requirements for S&T system restructuring and development of S&T brokerage firms, introduce talented people, advanced management experience and professional operation modes, support overseas Chinese graduates to open their S&T brokerage firms in their motherland, and encourage overseas brokerage firms to enter Chinese market.

Remote Watch on Farming Activities

The so-called Remote Sensing Yield Estimation Operational System developed by the Ministry of Agriculture was recently put into operation. The system has provided effective scientific means for the development and protection of the Chinese agricultural resources, estimation of major rural crops, assessment of major agricultural disasters, monitoring restructuring and agriculture prewarning.

It is reported that China started in 1999 its remote sensing based yield estimation and agricultural resources monitoring to understand the area, unit yield, growth, drought and variations of the yield of winter wheat and corns over the country, changes in cotton growing area and watch the balance between pasture land and stocks in north China. At present China mainly uses its Resources I and the US land satellites to watch the changes in crop growing area and is able to work out nationwide calculations of the changes in growing area one month in advance of the harvest and derive the variations in growing areas against last year. When monitoring crop growth, the home-made Fengyun series meteorological satellites and the US new generation meteorological satellites were used to make integrated analysis and comparisons of regional changes in crops growth on the basis of ground meteorological data and in-situ investigation data.

During the 10th Five-Year Plan period, agriculture related remote sensing activities will find their main applications in establishing crop monitoring system, national agricultural resources watch system, digital and accurate agricultural demonstration system. In addition to providing information on yield estimation, the said three systems will also be used to provide basic and supporting information for undergoing major activities such as the establishment of prewarning system for agricultural produce, strategic agricultural restructuring, analysis of regional strength on agricultural resources and advantageous agricultural produce distribution planning.


China-UK Developed Cancer Diagnosing Equipment

On May 17, 2002, Tianjin Dagang High Tech Development Zone inked an agreement with the representative from the British De Montfort University on joint promoting the industrialization of the new generation no-wound CT diagnosing technology.

This is the first major collaborative project between the two countries in the field of biomedical high technologies.

The said electric resistance computer CT scanning and imaging technology was developed by Dr. Wang Wei, Dean of Bioengineering Dept. of the University. By taking advantage of the biological and physiological properties of tumor cells, the technology constitutes an advanced human body imaging system able to make an earlier detection of malignant tumors at cell level without hurting human tissues as well as provide evidence for earlier diagnosing and treatment of cancers.

To promote the industrialization of this high tech finding, De Montfort University decided to forge a collaboration with Tianjin Dagang High Tech Development Zone with the technology contribution from the British side and the Chinese manufacturers producing the most advanced new no-wound CT equipment for earlier diagnosing of breast cancer in the world. The commercial manufacturing will be contracted to Tianjin Dagang Weitai Bioengineering Co. Ltd. and the Chinese party will possess exclusive production and operation right of the international patent right to the technology in China and Southeast Asian region. The cooperation will make China in an advanced position for earlier cancer diagnosing.

New Method for Longer Nanometer the Tubes

The new issue of Science published in US carried a report telling the latest progress jointly achieved by the scientists from the Chinese Tsinghua University and their U.S. counterparts on working out a carbon nanometer tube as long as 20 cm in the shape of human hair. Experts believed that the finding constitutes a major step leading to the manufacturing of mini cables for electronic equipment applications.

The scientists from both countries have improved the conventional chemical vapor phase deposition method for synthesizing carbon nanometer tubes. The result has shown that when adding hydrogen and a sulfur compound in the chemical vapor phase deposition process, scientists are not only able to work out longer nanometer carbon tubes but also able to see automatic lining up of these nanometer tubes proportionally.

Scientists believe that being an improved simple substitute process, the new method is expected to be applied to producing single layer nanometer carbon materials of high purity. 


CAS Opened SCI

Not long ago the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and ISI jointly announced in Beijing that ISI would open its SCI through its WEB of SCIENCE to CAS. SCI is a world renowned database on quoted paper in the field of natural sciences. Its opening to China will make Chinese scientists like their counterparts in the world share the latest scientific findings from the world first-class academic journals and track down the movement of global scientific research activities, which will promote S&T innovations.

China's Budget for Electric Autos

At the Forum on Chinese S&T Industries held during Beijing Science and Technology Fair, the representative from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology stressed that in the following four to five years, China would invest nearly RMB 1 billion for vigorous research on the development of electric automobile technologies. It is briefed that the Central Authorities will make a budget of RMB 1 billion for the perspective studies before further investment of RMB 2 to 3 billion from private sectors.

It is reported that Shenzhen Minghua Group is a private business listed in NASDAQ for its electric bus business. Hubei Province has established its Dongfeng Electric Vehicle Corporation while Shenlong Company has made the debut of its Fukang 988 sedan cars using mixed fuels.

China’s 1.44 million Patent Applications

Mr. Tian Lipu, Deputy Administrator of the Chinese National Intellectual Property Office recently disclosed that as of the end of April 2002 1.44 million pieces of patent application were filed in China on a cumulative basis. He briefed that it had took 15 years to reach the first million while it is expecting less than 5 years to land the second million. In the past two decades since the establishment of its patent system, China has developed a well-established patent system supported by a strong personnel contingent for patent application, examination, agent, and administrative legal enforcement.

Mr. Tian pointed out that China was still deploring for its poor technical innovation capacity as of the patent applications for high tech invention filed in China, the domestic applications have kept their lower percentages against the ones from abroad/ During the period from 1997 to 1999, of the patent applications filed in China in the four major high tech fields such as aviation and space, computer and office equipment, electronic and telecommunication and pharmaceuticals, the overseas applications took 76.9% of the total while Chinese patent applications filed in foreign countries were recorded less than 3,000 pieces a year. In the meanwhile, multinationals have made patent protection an important strategy to compete for and secure their market shares in China. In Beijing alone stand 30 research institutions created by multinationals. They have made huge investment into technical innovations, aiming at acquiring their intellectual properties.

In this context, Mr. Tian suggested that China should further reform and improve its S&T results awarding policies, establish patent and examination system in line with international norms, create funds for major technical results to file their patent applications in foreign countries, take full advantage of diffusion and applications of patent information and strengthen the public awareness of intellectual property protection. 

       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