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

N0.344 September 30,2003

* China's 7 Major S&T Strategies in the New Century

* Torch Produced 20,000 High Tech Businesses

* China's Proprietary Products Export Boomed

* Silkworm Becomes Genetic Drug

* 1.3 m Snow Melted in 33 Years

* Tube Buffalo

* China's First Marine Saccharides Bank


China's 7 Major S&T Strategies in the New Century

On September 15,2003, Xu Guanhua, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology nveiled China's 7 major S&T development strategies for the new century at the closing ceremony of the Ministerial Forum on Industrial Policies of China Beijing International S&T Industries Fair.!!!

Firstly, China will realize the socalled leaping development strategies. In the next 5-10 years, China will strive to enhance the core competitiveness of its information industry in an accelerated manner with the focuses on developing new operational systems and associated software platform and built-in CPU chips. In the field of biotechnology, China will focus on the research and development of functional genome, bioinformatics, bioengineering medicines and biogenetic seeds breeding, striving to win a place in the international biomedical industry, In addition, China will work on the technologies for electric automobile industrialization, striving for major breakthroughs in key component technologies, system integration and car structure technology.

Secondly, China will enhance its original innovation capacity, striving to realize the profound changes from the previous tracking down and copying to the proprietary innovation. In the areas of supporting policies, China will establish the evaluation system for assessing original innovations, encouraging and supporting Chinese scientists to be part of international academic exchanges and cooperation.

Thirdly, China will improve the technology mobilization and integration with the focuses on enhancing the national strategic deployment and governmental macro control capacity, realizing the optimized restructuring and rational distributions of S&T resources. Major national S&T programs shall have an explicit emphasis on the disciplinary and inter-agency cooperation, stressing the transition from the  development of individual technologies to the development of products and industries with both individual and integrated technologies.

Fourthly, China will speed up the high tech industrialization with the focuses on deepening the management system reform at national high tech parks, encouraging and supporting the development of small and medium S&T businesses, exploring further channels for S&T results property trading and S&T business property restructuring and strengthening the construction of socialized S&T intermediary services.

Fifthly, China will stimulate the industrialization process with the help of information technology, focusing on the core technologies relating to microelectronics, software, networking and information security, supporting the development and diffusions of high performance computers, establishing network based 'national high performance computer environment', implementing demonstration projects for the national economic information process, and diffusing the common information technology system especially in the areas of banking, insurance, manufacturing and agriculture.

Sixthly, China will promote the international S&T cooperation and exchanges, supporting Chinese scientists to be an active part of world large science projects and other major studies of the global dimension, encouraging multinationals to invest in R&D and making technology and personnel import a major content of utilizing foreign capital.

Seventhly, China will practice an positive human resources strategy to establish an open, mobile and competitive human resources system, raising the weight of personnel expenditure in the total R&D expenditure. National S&T programs and projects shall make discovering, training and retaining excellent personnel a major check-up indictor. China will enhance the import of top notch personnel from overseas on a selected basis, paying more attention to the development of human resources and making the innovation values of S&T personnel and operation management fully expressed. 

Torch Produced 20,000 High Tech Businesses

2003 marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China's National Torch Program. Since its establishment, 24,000 projects have been implemented under the Program with 90% focusing on industrial proprietary technologies or domestic technology development and 40% of them being derived from other national or regional development programs. The projects like Shuguang high performance computer, Beida Fangzheng laser printing system, Qinghua Tongfang mobile large container examination system, the high resolution TV of Xiaxin Electronics Co. Ltd. were for instances financed by the Program.

So far there have been 430 and odd S&T industrial incubators available in the country for supporting S&T personnel creating their own S&T businesses. These S&T incubators have admitted 23,000 and more businesses for the incubation, from which 6,900 were ‘graduated’ with 30 of them eventually becoming listed public companies. As of the end of last year, there were 14,000 doctorate graduates and 80,000 mastership graduates working for the national high tech parks and many of them have become young S&T businessmen. Of the high tech businesses supporting the development of national high tech development parks, 80% are private in ownership businesses.

 China's Proprietary Products Export Boomed

In the first half of this year, China had enjoyed a high tech product export of USD 44.01 billion, or 56.6% up compared with the same period of the preceding year, or 21% higher than the growth of China's foreign trade export in the same period with a weight of 23.1% of the total export made in the same period.

Since 1999, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has adopted varieties of measures to support the export of China's high tech product. The major focuses on strengthening research institutes' and universities' output have found expression in enhancing the conversion of findings and results into high tech products for export, and stimulating more high tech businesses to use these technologies to produce hightech products of international competitiveness, and accelerating the pace of high tech industrial integration with the international norms. As a result, high tech businesses will become better informed of dynamic changes in the international market and associated demands, as well as the gaps between China and international markets.

Such knowledge will in turn further stimulate Chinese high tech businesses to strive for better international competitiveness.As briefed by the Torch Technology Industrial Development Center under the Ministry of Science and Technology, China has in recent years established S&T parks in US and Germany respectively for the purpose of opening outlet windows for China's products and allowing more people to know China's high tech development. Such activities have in the meanwhile created an equal competing environment for foreign made high tech products into the Chinese market.


Silkworm Becomes Genetic Drug

Prof. Zhang Yaozhou, Director, Institute of Biochemistry under the Zhejiang University announced on September 17, 2003 that his study team has worked out a genetic engineering drug from domestic silkworms, which found the solution to the oral protein pharmacy, a world difficult topic. The new oral medicine has recently passed the approval of China State Food and Drug Administration for clinic testing.

The pre-phase testing has shown that the genetic engineering medicine is able to remarkably improve people's immunity and is of the fine treatment effect on slowing down cancer patients' white cell declining caused by the chemotherapy.

The pre-phase study has also shown that the oral medicine is of the treatment effect on numerous diseases such as abnormal complications caused by bone marrow proliferation, aplasstic anemia  and bone marrow decaying, and able to help the stem cell grow and blood making function recover after the bone marrow transplanting, and prevent the infections possibly caused by the decline of white cells.

Prof. Zhang briefed that the new oral medicine enjoys a competitive price only at 1/10 of the similar type injection available at the market. The domestic animal based genetic engineering medicine is closer to the human being in nature.

1.3 m Snow Melted in 33 Years

Chinese scientists have discovered through the latest measurement that the snow surface of the Zhumulangma Peak (Mount Everest) that has a thousand year history has been in the process of melting in the last 30 and more years. Chen Junyong, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported that as a result, the height of the snow surface had dropped by 1.3m in the course of 33years as the result of global climate warming effect.

In 1966 the snow surface height measured by China was 8849.75 m. In 1975, the same height dropped by 0.92 m compared with the previous measurement, landed at 8849.95 m. The last measurement of the peak height sits at 8848.13m, a data that has been used until today.

In the last three decades and more, China has completed 5 large scale earth measurement and scientific observations over the area. With the help of varieties of means such as astronomy, gravity, laser ranging and GPS, scientists have made more and more accurate measurement of the peak height. In 1992, scientists worked out the measurement of the peak at 8849.04m and a further reduced height of 8848.45m in the last observation of 1999.

Mr. Chen explained that the downsizing of peak snow surface was not even in the course of 8 years and varied along with the changes of seasons. In summers, the snow surface will go do while in winters go up as the result of abundant snow precipitation. However, the general development had indicated a downturn trend.

The measurement of Zhumulangma Peak height in the past 35 years and associated study of crustal movement in adjacent regions, a project presided over and completed by Chen Junyong has turned out the findings that the Zhumulangma Peak area has experienced an overall uplift in a fluctuating manner under the push of the Indian plate. In the course of long observations, researchers had also found that the rising speed of the Zhumulangma Peak is not evenly constant.

Schistosome Gene Sequencing

The southern branch of National Human Genome Research Center has for the first time in the world conducted large scale genetic expression examination of Japanese schistosome at different development stages and successfully obtained 43,707 expressive genetic sections which represent 13,000 genes, or 65%-87% of the total genes of Japanese schistosome. The sequencing has resulted in the world largest public database for schistosome expressive sequence, which provides important resources for schistosome and other associated studies, and has rendered an important contribution to understanding the relationship between hosts and parasites and widening the study scope of molecular parasitology and molecular evolution. The development has in the meanwhile laid an important foundation for schistosome diagnosis and the development of vaccines and associated new drugs.

On September 16, 2003 the internationally authoritative journal Nature Genetics published on its website the full text of the paper named Japanese schistosome's cDNA Evolution and Biomedical Analysis authored by Chinese scientists, the first of its kind published by the journal. The finding will make China's 821,000 schistosome patients and a population of 65 million under the threatening of such diseases the direct beneficiaries.

Tube Buffalo

Chinese scientists have put tube buffalo into mass production with the world most advanced biotechnology.

In 1993, China had its first tube buffalo born. After that, the Guangxi Buffalo Research Institute  has creatively developed a more advanced tube buffalo reproduction system on the basis of the available world advanced technology. Started from 2000, the Institute used buffalo cow's egg cells for external growing before the external fertilization. Then researchers transplanted the externally grown embryo into the local buffalo cow's body for further growing. In a period of three years, researchers had tried the embryo transplantation in 39 cows and made 26 of them conceived, with a pregnancy rate of 66.7%. So far 24 buffalo cows have given birth to healthy calves.

Researchers explained that it would take 10 years to reproduce a buffalo cow of pure breed through the conventional hybrid process, while the tube technology may make the reproduction cycle reduce to one year. China is planning to turn most of its current stock of 20 million and more buffalo into buffalo cows. The application of tube buffalo technique will doubtlessly accelerate the pace of buffalo breed improvement in the country.

 China's First Marine Saccharides Bank

On the basis of their 14-year tireless efforts, the researchers of China Marine University have eventually created China's first oligose technical system integrated with preparation, separation, purification, modification, analysis and assessment applied with latest biological, biochemical, color and wave spectrum and chemical synthesizing techniques.

The study team kicked off the project of marine saccharides bank construction on September 1989. With marine polysaccharide as the base materials and biological and chemical degradation the base process, the project has worked out 50 individual high purity marine oligose compounds. Researchers separated 60 derivatives compounds from the saccharides, of which 28 and 49 were respectively reported for the first time in the world. These compounds have constituted  the preliminary contents of China's first marine saccharides bank, which will provide the matter base and information for further screening and discovery of modern marine saccharides drugs, the development of modern marine Chinese traditional medicine and basic study in the field of life science.

Concentrated Nutritional Liquid from Sea Weeds

Profs. Song Shilian and Yu Wenchao of Dalian Light Industry Institute have on the basis of their two decade painstaking efforts found the solutions to removing the fishy smell of sea weeds, an acknowledged world puzzle. Their unique process for yeast fermenting and enzymatic decomposition based fishy smell removing is able to thoroughly consume the selenium and gather vitamin B elements together They extracted the sea weeds liquid from the sea weed roots and make the residues into sea weed paste to keep the nutritional elements. The new products are able to allow the effective absorption and utilization of iodine by the human body. When adding the new products into other foods, the organic iodine will stay firmly there without getting evaporated easily.

It is reported that the technology has recently passed the experts' verification, and Dalian Kunyang S&T Bioproducts Co. Ltd. has put the new products into mass production. 

Space Environment Forecast System

With the Space Center under the Chinese Academy of Sciences as the head developer and the University of Science and Technology of China as a part of the development efforts, the space environment forecast system for spacecrafts  has recently made its debut.  The system not only will serve as a protection for the safe operation of China's manned spacecraft that will be soon launched in the near future and but also is of major significance to the development of China's future space activities.

It is briefed that the spacecraft usually would, in the course of launch, on-orbit flight and recovery, select a relatively quiet space environment with well predicted space parameters such as the upper air density, the ionosphere status and the possible meteor attacks so as to avoid the severe environment related accidents. The development of the space environment forecast system for spacecrafts headed by the Space Center has worked out a system able to minimize the impacts of space environment variations on the spacecraft.  The University was contracted to develop the forecast and warning system for the environment near the earth orbit and the space plasma environment variations. Up to date, the University has become able to make the short range forecast for the space environment. The system integration is expected to take place in 2005.

       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