China's first Nobel Prize winner is likely to appear within the next 20 years, said Chen Ning Yang, a winner of the 1957 Nobel Prize in physics.
The famed Chinese-American scientist made the remarks at a symposium recently held at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"China's economic development and its increasing input into education have given me the confidence that China will have its own Noble-Prize winner in the near future," Yang said.
"Mathematics may be the most promising area," he said.
"Although there is no Nobel Prize mathematics award, Chinese mathematicians may win Fields Awards. Biology is another area where Chinese scientists have an edge," Yang added.
"It was relatively easier for a physicist to be successful from the 1950s to the 1970s, an era with a plethora of scientific secrets waiting to be discovered," he explained. "However, with the progress of research in physics, the chances have decreased considerably."
Yang's remarks have provided an answer to a long-time question on the minds of many Chinese people, that is, when China will have its own Noble-Prize winner.
To help China realize the long-cherished dream of winning the Nobel Prize, Yang suggested that Chinese scientists should intensify their cooperation with their foreign counterparts.
Born in China in 1922, Yang entered the University of Chicago in 1945, receiving a doctorate in 1948. Nine years later, he won the Nobel Prize in physics with another Chinese-American scientist, Trung Dao Lee.