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

N0.308 September 30,2002

* China's High Tech Grows Fast

* China Controls Satellites More and Better

* Policies for Medical Science and Technology

* China Divides Its Marine Functions

* Dinosaur Fossils in Extinction Age

* Transgenetic Pest Resistant Cotton

* More Work on China’s Weather and Marine Satellites


 China's High Tech Grows Fast

Since the late 1980s, China has poured investment as much as RMB 11 billion in national high tech research and development projects in the fields of biology, space, information, laser, automation, energy technology and new materials. The decade and more efforts have produced eye-catching achievements. As is shown by incomplete statistics, Chinese scientists have turned out 700 and more findings granted with the awards at national or ministerial level and patent rights at home or abroad with some of them reaching internationally leading position. The breakthroughs such as in transgenic goat, ox and pest resistant cottons, key technologies for high performance computer, integrated computer manufacturing technologies, improved digital switcher technology, 6000m submarine robot, and the major new non-linear optic crystal varieties among many others have demonstrated China's leading position in some of the international hot high tech spots and its strength competing against the developed countries.

At the end of 1980s, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology sponsored the so-called Torch Program, an R&D effort for developing China's high tech industries. During the period from 1991 to 2001, the output value generated by China's high tech industries had spiraled up from RMB 300 billion to 1,800 billion, landing an annual average growth of 20%, which made its proportion in the national economy from 1% a decade ago to the current 15%. In the meantime, high tech products have become an important component stimulating foreign trade development in the country. In 2001, China's high tech export volume arose to USD 46.5 billion while the same indicator was less than USD 3 billion a decade ago. The upbeat high tech development has nurtured out 86,000 private small and medium S&T oriented businesses with great vitality and a number of large S&T businesses at home and abroad. In 1991, there were only seven enterprises whose annual output reached RMB 100 million or above in national high tech parks. By 2001, the businesses scaled to the same category had grown to 1,539 in number, of which 185 climbed to the ladder of RMB 1 billion and 10 over RMB 10 billion.

Since 1991, China has created altogether 53 high tech industrial development parks at national level. As of 2001, these high tech parks have materialized a total revenue of RMB 1,192.8 billion with a total industrial output value of RMB 1,011.7 billion, profits and taxes RMB 128.5 billion and foreign exchange USD 22.66 billion, or 100 times that of 1991 when these parks were founded with a decade average growth over 60%.

China Controls Satellites More and Better

It is reported from the authorities concerned that China’s space vehicle measuring and control technologies have witnessed six major historical advancements, which makes China able to provide high accuracy measurement and control service for different space vehicles at an altitude of 36,000 km such as rockets docking, near earth orbit, solar synchronous and geostationary satellites and manned spacecraft.

The so-called six major historical advancements imply that China is now capable of sending space vehicles into space, navigating space vehicles to return to earth, synchronous positioning, satellite network, international compatibility and spacecraft recovery. China has made itself in the world advanced rank in terms of mastering key measuring and control technologies such as accurate orbit positioning and multiple satellites management.

In recent years, China has worked out its own S-band measuring and control system in line with international standard and developed the centralized remote control working mode, which have greatly improved the control capability of space controlnetwork over manned spacecrafts, especially in emergency cases.

On the above mentioned basis, China established its measuring and control network management center to exercise centralized control and dynamic distribution of measuring and control resources, which greatly enhanced the efficiency of network performance and capacity for multiple satellites measurement and satisfied the measuring and control needs of China’s satellites, manned spacecrafts at middle and lower altitude orbit, earlier orbit support for synchronous satellites and positioning management. Under the coordinated management of the measuring and control center, fast switching to different measuring targets has been realized.

At present, China’s space measuring and control network is able to simultaneously provide measuring and control support for 20 and more satellites and spacecrafts.

Chinese space scientists have overcome the technical difficulties encountered in the inter-connection between China space control network and its international counterparts and worked out the complete technical standards for interactive operation between the two networks, which has made China possess the technical capacity in line with its foreign counterparts and provided high quality service for supporting the launch of foreign satellites. The entrance of China’s space measuring and control network into the international market has brought back huge economic returns.

China has created a unique mode of one network controlling multiple satellites, practiced 24-hour round clock management of all long-life satellites launched by China, found the application of artificial intelligence in space vehicle control and developed the so-called expert system to support satellite control. All these efforts have ensured the safe operation of satellites and scientific utilization of resources.

 Policies for Medical Science and Technology

On September 18, 2002, the national policies on medicinal science and technology jointly formulated by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the State Economic and Trade Commission and the National Administration for Chinese Traditional Medicines were officially published for enforcement. In the future 5 years, the central government will allocate RMB 3 billion and more to support the research and development of Chinese traditional medicine making with priority weight on the preparation of chemical medicines, innovative studies on Chinese traditional medicines and techniques for preparing biological medicines.

In the field of Chinese traditional medicine study, China will establish its national banks for fine traditional medicinal resources in both the south and the north and construct an innovation information platform for Chinese traditional medicines and create an internationally acknowledged quality standardization system for Chinese traditional medicines.

In the field of preparing biological medicines, China will place its priority on developing new biological medicines and vaccines for treating cardiovascular and cerebral diseases, cancers and other major diseases and work out relevant laws and legislations on biological security and standards for associated evaluation and analysis.

In the field of chemical medicine studies, China will focus on turning out the products with new mechanism, effective treatment results and little toxicant effects with priorities on the medicines treating cancers, cardiovascular diseases, viruses, mental diseases, blood sugar reduction and senile diseases.

 China Divides Its Marine Functions

On September 10, 2002, the Chinese State Marine Bureau published the Functional Zoning Plan for Chinese Territorial Marine Waters, which constitutes a guideline document for orienting and steering marine applications, protecting and improving marine ecological environment and promoting the rational development of marine resources and the sustainable development of marine economy.

The Plan covers the inland water, territorial water, adjacent areas, special economic zones, continental shelf and other marine water bodies under China's jurisdiction. Mainstreamed with rational marine development and marine environmental protection, it has its most weight in the following three aspects:

* Dividing the marine areas under China's jurisdiction into ten major functional zones including port and shipping, fishery resources utilization and preservation, tourism, marine water resources utilization, engineering applications, marine protection, special applications and conservation. The Plan also proposed the development and protection priorities and management requirements for each functional zone;

* Defining the major functions for 30 main marine areas over Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East Sea and South China Sea, including offshore marine areas, islands and major resources development and utilization areas;

* Working out the major steps for implementing the Plan, including improving marine functional zone planning system and technical support system, preparing and implementing marine function zoning plan and strengthening its supervision and examination.


 Dinosaur Fossils in Extinction Age

Not long ago Chinese paleobiologists discovered over the middle and lower reaches of Heilongjiang River the fossils of dinosaurs that are believed living near the time before the massive extinction of such animals. The discovery may unveil some important clues for people's understanding of the reasons behind the extinction of many biological species such as dinosaur around 65 million years ago.

Chinese scientists unearthed the dinosaur fossils at Wulaga area, a place about 100 km in the south from Jiayin County. Fossils of different sizes and ages together with ancient plant fossils are scattering over the area and the silently sleeping ancient animals seem to hint us that they suddenly died in large groups between these ancient rock stratums. The scene made the area like a huge dinosaur family grave with abundant buried objects. The preliminary testing has shown that these dinosaurs were living in a time period of about 65 million or 70 million years ago.

Scientists from different countries such as China, the U.S., Russia, UK, Germany, Japan and Korea are looking for consecutive stratum sections that may tell the whole story of the greatest biological extinction so far known to the mankind. Scientists will use different means such as paleobiology, geochemistry, paleogeomagnetism and stratum sediment to find out more about the new discoveries. The study is scheduled to last for 4 years.

Primitive Dwelling Structure 8,000 Years Ago

Chinese archaeologists have recently discovered at the Xinglonggou Relics of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region a human dwelling structure built 8000 years ago. It is reported that within the indoor structure of 40 and odd square meters lay 7 intact pottery wares, 3 large millstones, 4 mill bars and ax, bar, knife and leaf made of stone. In the east part of the structure stand a pottery pot with two ears and a knife shape mouth and a stone instrument with a round nest.

In the middle of the room, there is an incomplete human skeleton with missing lower part of the right leg and the right arm as well as burns over the leg bone and skull. It is assumed that the host was died of some artificial reasons with most of its inside contents left intact. Whether the host died because of a fire accident or in a unique convention or the missing parts of the host's body left some mysteries for further study.

Xinglonggou Relics is one of the most typical primitive tribe villages well kept in China. Chinese archaeologists have unearthed huge number of pottery wares, stonewares, bone wares, shell wares and jade wares as well as deer and pig bones in recent digging efforts. The discovered dwelling structure has shown the basics of the dwelling structures built 8000 years ago and the discovery of the stone processing site shows that 8000 year ago man had made preliminary division of work.

 Transgenetic Pest Resistant Cotton

Recently Cotton Institute under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced that it has landed major progresses in its commercial project for transgenetic pest resistant cotton production. The said Project is made up of 6 components: technical innovation, pilot experiment, fine varieties breeding, seeds processing, quality control and marketing. The Project has turned out new genetically modified cotton varieties of strong pest resistance such as Zhongmiansuo 37, 38, 39, and 41, which has made China internationally advanced in producing pest resistant cotton.

Applied with the home-made proprietary pest killing genes such as Bt and Bt+CpTI and different genetic modification techniques such as stalk bacteria medium, pollen method and gene shooting method plus the traditional approaches, the Project has eventually bred out many new pest resistant cotton varieties. The Project has not only worked out the cottons of high and stable yield and fine quality but also reached the goals of protecting ecological environment and reducing pesticide pollution to the environment.

Under the stimulus of the commercialization process, China’s three major cotton growing areas (the Yellow River Valley, the Yangtze River Valley and the Northwest inland area) have seen the establishment of five regional companies integrated with both production and marketing. In addition, 4 ecological breeding experimental stations were set up at Nanjiang and Beijiang of Xinjiang, Wangjiang, Anhui of the Yangtze River Valley and Huimin, Shandong of the Yellow River Valley, which preliminarily established the transgenetic cotton breeding system covering three major cotton growing areas and the corresponding network integrated with cotton seeds production, processing, marketing, diffusing and service. These pest resistant cotton varieties have grown over 11 leading cotton growing provinces in the country and produced remarkable economic and social benefits.

It is briefed that during the period of 2002-2003, the Project has provided transgenetic cotton seeds and fine quality regular transgenetic cotton seeds for a growing area amounted to115,000mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) and produced seeds of 11.5 million kilos that may accommodate the diffusion over 6.7 million mu. The implementation of the Project has diffused the new transgenetic varieties over an area of 18.92 million mu and landed the rising revenues of RMB 2.1947 billion. Upon the completion of the Project, an annual output of 46.46 million kilos of transgenetic cotton seeds will be expected with the annual sales of RMB 454.9 million.

 More Work on China’s Weather and Marine Satellites

On September 18, 2002, the Chinese Space Science and Technology Group Corp. signed a contract with the Chinese State Meteorological Administration for developing Fengyun III satellite and a similar cooperative agreement with the State Oceanic Bureau for developing Marine I-B satellite. The event kicks off the formal development of China’s new generation weather satellite as well as its second marine satellite.

Fengyun III is China’s second generation polar orbit (solar synchronous) weather satellite equipped with 10 effective payloads. In addition to visible and infrared scanning radiometers, the satellite will be equipped with other remote sensors such as microwave radiometer, microwave imaging device, medium resolution imaging spectrometer, ultraviolet ozone sounding device and solar constants monitor. The addition of microwave sensors has made the satellite capable of global 3-D, all weather, multiple spectrum and quantitative meteorological soundings.

Fengyun III is designed mainly for providing parameters on global temperature, humidity, air pressure and radiation, realizing medium term numerical weather prediction, dynamic monitoring of natural disasters and ecological environment over extensive areas, providing geophysical data for the study of global climate change and environment changes and making weather data on any region over the earth available for aviation and marine departments.

Marine I-B is a back-up for Marine I-A that was launched on May 15, 2002. Marine I-B will have its basic technical specifications in line with its elder sister but with readjustments of partial technical indicators and improved functions. The satellite will also see design improvement in storage volume and digital data transmission rate so as to further ensure the its quality and reliability.

       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