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Forum produces high-tech consensus with EU
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-13 23:51

Information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology will beat the forefront of future scientific co-operation between China and the European Union (EU).

The plan was announced on Friday in a joint declaration, in which the two sides agreed to follow through on their strategic partnership by deepening co-operation in research and technological development.

Dubbing the agreement a "knowledge-based" strategic partnership, China's Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua and EU Commissioner for Science and Technology Janez Potocnik announced the declaration at the conclusion of a two-day forum on science and technology strategy. The meeting was part of joint China-EU celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

In the declaration, specific objectives included increasing public and private investment in co-operation projects, promoting a scientific culture and ensuring protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

The two sides agreed that further co-operation will be based on the guiding principle of ensuring mutual interest and overall balance between China and Europe.

"In a world that is global, the best way to increase innovation is for China and Europe to actively and collaboratively engage with each other," the declaration stated.

Along with the declaration, the two sides also made public a further paper, identifying joint social development difficulties China and the EU face in the coming years.

To ensure sustainable development, both are interested in technologies concerned with environmental protection, information and communication, food and agriculture, transportation, urbanization and health.

"We share many joint development and research priorities and that's the basis for deeper co-operation," said Xu.

3G co-operation

At the forum, research circles and business representatives agreed that China and the EU share great potential for the development of third generation (3G) wireless communication technology.

Wu Hequan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the Chinese Government has placed a high priority on research into 3G wireless communications.

He said partnership between EU and China research organizations and companies had already been set up. "We want to see a wider range of international co-operation in this area," Wu added.

With about 350 million cellphone users in China, the country is a huge market for information and telecommunication sectors.

Siemens China president Richard Hausmann echoed Wu's suggestion and said his company has already been involved in readying 3G for the Chinese market.

"We have also already invested in 4G wireless communication technology research as China's mobile use is still rising steadily," said Hausmann.

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