China Science & Technology Digest:
March 1-31, 2004
This digest summarizes S&T-related articles that appeared in the media ATIP monitored in March 2004. Some articles reference a relevant website to assist readers in obtaining further information. For questions or to request additional information, please send email to ChinaST@atip.or.jp. The exchange rate used for this issue is RMB8.287 against the U.S. dollar.
China-Made Nuclear Reactor Begins Operation
The No. 2 reactor at the second phase of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant has begun operation. China imported three of its four existing power plants from France, Canada, and Russia. The second phase of the Qinshan plant in East China's Zhejiang Province is the only generating facility designed in China. Construction of the second phase at Qinshan began on June 2, 1996, with an investment of 14.8 billion yuan (approx. US$1.8 billion) for two reactors. The No. 1 reactor went on line on April 15, 2002, and has generated 9.1 billion kilowatts.
Construction of four new 1,000-megawatt pressurized-water nuclear power facilities in Sanmen, as well as in the Zhejiang Province and Lingdong, in south China's Guangdong Province, is scheduled to begin next year.
Source: China Daily 03/22/2004
Science Academy Provides Annual Science & Technology Reports
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has published three reports on Chinese and international scientific and technological advancements. Since 1998, the CAS has published seven sets of annual reports, with more than 100,000 copies. The Science Development Report includes suggestions and proposals for the country's comprehensive development strategy and policies. The book elaborates on the advanced research made in 2003 by Chinese scientists in 11 areas (further details on these areas is provided at the very end of this news digest).
Source: People’s Daily 03/03/2004
Round Two of 3G Field Tests to Begin
At present, there are three competing 3G standards in the world: Europe-initiated WCDMA, US-backed CDMA 2000, and China's TD-SCDMA. China will begin field tests of WCDMA systems at the end of March, and trials on CDMA 2000 will begin in April, followed by TD-SCDMA tests in May to decide when and how to issue operators with 3G licenses.
Source: People’s Daily 03/22/2004
Portals Eyeing MMS for Future Explosive Growth
China's Internet portals are to further expand their multimedia messaging service (MMS). Sohu.com, one of the three largest portals listed on the Nasdaq will invest heavily on the R&D of MMS this year in order to outpace the other two major rivals, Sina.com and Netease.com.
Unlike SMS (short message service), which only allows written text to be transmitted, MMS allows color pictures, animation, recorded sound, and even video to be downloaded from websites or made by the sender to be transmitted on wireless systems.
At present, the Chinese Government has been pushing the development of the third-generation or 3G, a much faster technology than 2G and 2.5G, which allows transmission of voice, data, and video along with high speed wireless Internet access 40 times faster than the 2G systems.
Source: People’s Daily 03/07/2004
Jam-Proof Satellite to be Sent into Orbit Next Year
China's first anti-jamming satellite -- capable of carrying radio and TV signals to all of China -- is scheduled to be sent into orbit next year from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. The SINOSAT-II is designed with full consideration of resisting possible interference from outside sources. The possible interference is said to refer mainly to the attacks by Falun Gong cult devotees on television signals transmitted by the Sino Satellite (SINOSAT) system, which covers China.
Source: China Daily 03/04/2004
China Launches First Biobank
China launched its first biobank, a database with information on people's medical history, lifestyle, occupation, and blood sample for DNA analysis in Guangzhou in South China. The program, jointly funded by the Guangzhou No. 12 People's Hospital, the University of Hong Kong, and the UK-based University of Birmingham, aims to create profiles for 50,000 Guangzhou people aged above 50 in four to five years.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/11/2004
Scientists Claim Development of Biological "Diesel Oil"
Chinese scientists from the Life Science Institute of Sichuan University based in Southwest China's Sichuan Province have developed an environment-friendly fuel oil similar to diesel oil from shrub fruits, which are applicable to various types of existing diesel engines. The oil was extracted from the dried fruits of Physic Nut (Jatropha Curcas). The production capacity is expected to reach 20,000 tons next year. A total of more than 1 million yuan (approx. US$120,000) has been injected into the program.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/12/2004
China Begins Research in Coal Liquefaction to Confront Oil Shortage
China has established its first coal liquefaction research center in Shanghai. Three energy and industrial companies, Shenhua Group, Shanghai Huayuan Group, and Shanghai Electric Group, jointly invested over 100 million yuan (approx. US$12 million) in the center. Activities are mainly exploring direct and indirect coal liquefaction technologies, under which coal is broken down into small molecules, with hydrogen to form oil molecules for diesel, gasoline, and other petroleum products after refining. The center will also become a research headquarters providing support for China's first coal liquefaction project involving 3.3 billion dollars in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Source: People’s Daily 03/21/2004
Electric-Powered Buses Introduced in Hangzhou
Electric-powered buses will begin operation in April running on the scenic routes in Hangzhou, capital of the Eastern China Province of Zhejiang, making it the first Chinese city to use the environmentally-friendly buses.
The buses, with a maximum speed of 85 kilometers per hour, carry a one-ton electric battery. The larger version of the bus can run 280 kilometers per charge, which lasts four to six hours, while the smaller can run 380 kilometers per charge of three to five hours, according to city officials.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/07/2004
China Develops First Computer for the Blind
Two companies based in the Northeastern China Province of Heilongjiang have developed a computer for the blind and those with eye diseases with a Chinese-Braille keyboard, a mouse and two ears. China has around 9 million people suffering from eyes diseases, more than 5 million of whom are blind.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/03/2004
Scientists Invent Micro-Biological Products to Protect Silk Artifacts
Chinese scientists have invented a micro-biological liquid to protect ancient silk. There are several types of the liquid invented, each of which contains various bacteria. Scientists have also found a micro-biological way to protect wooden structures, which are often threatened by high water content.
Source: People’s Daily 03/20/2004
Chinese & Scottish Scientists to Cooperate
Chinese scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Scottish scientists from the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, and the University of Dundee will soon engage in collaborative research that will focus on botany and genetics, nanotechnology, optoelectronics, as well as public understanding of sciences.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/08/2004
Digital R&D Base to Be Built in Beijing
Beijing's Zhongguancun hi-tech park plans to invest 30 million yuan (approx. US$3.62 million) to build a base for digital research and development. Promoting the digital industry and aiding related enterprises are listed as key projects in the development schedule of the government-run hi-tech park. One of the plans of the base is to encourage the use of High Definition Television (HDTV).
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/11/2004
Details on 2003 Achievements by Chinese Scientists in 11 Areas
Achievements made by Chinese scientists in 2003, as reported in the Science Development Report mentioned on page 1 of the present Digest, include:
1) The Beijing Spectrometer (BES) International Collaboration at CAS has discovered a new particle with a mass of 1859 MeV and with a spin zero. The discovery, based on the analysis of 58 million J/y events was made with the Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPC).
The BES International Collaboration is composed of the physicists and graduate students from IHEP and more than 20 other domestic universities and research institutions, as well as from the U.S., the U.K., Japan, and Korea, and is dedicated to the study of t lepton and charm quark physics.
2) Ye Duzheng of the CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics was awarded the forty-eighth International Meteorological Organization Prize the first time that a Chinese scientist has received this award. Ye Duzheng is a pioneer of Chinese atmospheric science and an honorary member the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the American Meteorological Society, and the Royal Meteorology Society of the UK.
3) Li Fanghua of the CAS Institute of Physics was awarded the L’Oreal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science, the first time for a Chinese scientist. Li Fanghua is founder of high-resolution electron microscopy in China.
4) A study of the interaction between intense femtosecond laser pulses and matter was conducted by Zhang Jie of the CAS Institute of Physics.
5) The experimental realization of freely propagating teleported qubits was performed by Pan Jianwei from the University of Science and Technology, China.
6) Progress was made in the study of nanometallic cluster catalyst by Liu Hanfan from the CAS Institute of Chemistry.
7) Progress in elucidating the molecular mechanism of rice tillering was made by Li Jiayang from the CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology.
8) The identification and evaluation of new open reading frames in the Hepatitis B virus Genome was performed by Cheng Jun from Hospital #302 of the PLA.
9) The evolutionary and biomedical analysis of Schistosoma Japonicum genes was conducted by Han Zeguang from the Chinese National Human Gene Center.
10) The first crystal structure of the SARS-CoV protein was discovered by Rao Zihe from the CAS Institute of Biophysics.
11) The Shenzhen V manned spacecraft was launched.
China to Earmark US$1B for Technology Sector in 2004
The Ministry of Science and Technology will invest 11 billion yuan (approx. US$1.32 billion) this year, primarily for the purpose of improving agriculture technology. Projects for high-yield rice, wheat, and maize will be expanded in the Northeast, North, and Central areas of China to sustain the country's grain production capacity. Water-saving technology will be expanded in the arid North and Northwest parts of the country to help water needed crops in those areas and increase local agricultural production. Meanwhile, grass and forest conservation technologies will be applied in these areas to better protect the ecology.
Source: China Daily 03/31/2004
China Becomes No. 1 in DSL
Chinese digital subscriber line population, an index of a country's broadband level, surpassed Japan as No. 1 in the world. DSL users in China hit 19.15 million last year; Japan had the world's second-largest DSL population with 10.27 million by the end of the year, followed by the United States with 9.11 million. DSL systems based on the fixed-line telephone network are the standard of broadband Internet access in China. The country's largest fixed-line phone operator, China Telecom Corp., is the major service provider.
Source: Shanghai Daily 03/16/2004
China Stands Firm on Encryption Rules
China will not back down on a plan to force computer makers to adopt a new standard for encrypting wireless communications after Intel Corp. said it would halt sales of its Centrino chip package in the nation. Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, will stop sales of the wireless communication device after balking at government’s demands for alterations before June 1. A quarter of all laptops sold in China last year used Intel’s chip. Under the new regulation, overseas makers of computers and chips seeking to sell devices in China that allow wireless communication must use a Chinese encryption software and make the products with domestically designated companies.
Source: Shenzhen Daily 03/15/2004
China Opens Trial Network Based on Next-Generation Internet Protocol
The China Education and Research Net 2 (CERNET2), a backbone network based on IPv6, a 128-digit format Internet protocol, has been undergoing testing. The network now connects three Chinese cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, with 6,000 km of optic fiber, so far the world's largest backbone network totally based on IPv6. By the end of this year, CERNET2 is to cover 20 Chinese cities. China began to test an IPv6 network in 1998, which is two years after the United States launched its research project on next-generation Internet.
Source: Xinhua News agency 03/19/2004
Kingsoft to Launch New Word Processing System
Kingsoft Co., one of China's leading software companies, will introduce its new word processing system (WPS) version, co-developed with IBM and Intel, into the market in May. As Kingsoft's first cross-platform office application software, the software codenamed "Hurricane" can be run on operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. The company is also planning to begin the public testing of its WPS V6, the next generation of WPS, in July this year.
Source: China Daily 03/26/2004
World's largest MDI & TDI Project to Begin Construction in Shanghai
Germany and the U.S. have joined with China to start a methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) project in Shanghai. The project is the largest in the world and will involve a total investment of 1.12 billion US dollars. Both MDI and TDI are hydrophobic and insoluble in water. They are key components for the production of polyurethane polymers used in light industry, construction, automobiles machinery, and electronic sectors. The project will produce 240,000 tons of MDI and 160,000tons of TDI a year. It will begin operation in September 2006.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/29/2004
Scientists Decode Mechanism of Photosynthesis
Chinese scientists have for the first time decoded the structure of major light-harvesting complex (LHC-II), which helps explain how plants transfer sunlight into energy. The latest issue of Nature published the research led by Chang Wenrui from the Institute of Biological Physics of CAS and CAS academician Kuang Tingyun. Chang and his team sketched the three-dimensional crystal structure of LHC-II, which was separated and purified by a different team led by Kuang. The research was funded by the state basic scientific research and development program, the state high technology research and development program, and programs of the Natural Science Foundation of China.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/19/2004
H5N2 Inactivated Vaccine Effective in Preventing Bird Flu Virus
China used H5N2 inactivated vaccine to prevent the spread of H5N1 strain highly infectious bird flu virus, and it has proved to be effective. China reported 49 bird flu cases and killed 9 million poultry in the infected areas since the first bird flu case was confirmed in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on January 27, 2004. Chinese scientists have developed a kind of inactivated vaccine using H5N2 strain virus separated from a goose in Foshan, South China's Guangdong Province, which was found carrying the H5N2 strain virus in 1996.
Source: People’s Daily 03/19/2004
China Makes Great Breakthrough in Plasma TV Technology
China's Southeast University has developed a "34-inch full-color shadow mask plasma display panel (PDP)". "34-inch shadow mask PDP" is a project of the "863" national science program. The color PDP industrial base will be established in combination with the national high-definition TV development plan to provide new development orientation for using the very large cathode ray tube (CRT) production line.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/07/2004
China Develops First Computer for The Blind
Two companies based in the Northeastern China province of Heilongjiang have developed a computer for the blind and those with eye diseases. It includes a Chinese-Braille keyboard, a mouse, and two ears. China has around 9 million people suffering from eyes diseases, more than 5 million of whom are blind.
Source: People’s Daily 03/31/2004
China to Launch Lunar Probe Satellite on Long March III A
China will use a Long March III A carrier rocket to launch a satellite in its lunar probe project. The Long March III A was chosen for this mission because it has the highest success rate among the Long March series of launch vehicles. China's lunar probe project, also known as the Chang'e Program, will be divided into three phases. The first phase of the program to send a satellite to orbit the moon by 2007, with funding of 1.4 billion yuan (approx. 170 million US dollars), has begun. It will be followed by the landing of an unmanned vehicle on the moon in the second stage by 2010 and the collecting of lunar soil samples with an unmanned vehicle by 2020 in the third phase.
Source: People’s Daily 03/21/2004
China Invests Heavily to Build Large Science Center
China will build a science center at a total cost of 1.9 billion yuan (approx. 230 million US dollars) in south China's Guangdong province, the largest center of its kind in the country. The multi-functional center, to be built in Guangzhou University, will run training and experiments. The center is expected to open in November.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/28/2004
China to Invite World's Leading Scientists for Academic Exchanges
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) plans to invite the world's leading scientists for academic exchanges with Chinese scientists. Under the newly launched Einstein Professorship program, the CAS will finance about 20 to 30 renowned scientists to conduct academic activities, including oral presentations and discussions, in China. They will also be asked to provide research advice to the CAS institutes. Candidates might be selected among Nobel laureates and top prize-winners in mathematics, computing science, and environmental science.
The program will begin at the end of this year.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 03/20/2004
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