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EU and China to Reinforce Sci-Tech Cooperation

Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research, visited Beijing from May 11-13 to co-chair the China-EU High Level Forum on S&T Strategy with Chinese Minister Xu Guanhua of Science and Technology. It is expected that the commissioner will meet with State Councilor Chen Zhili, Minister Xu Guanhua, and CAS President Lu Rongkai.

Commissioner Potocnik chose China for one of his first international visits because “we have seen an unprecedented growth of our S&T relations.” He feels that “China is becoming an important partner for the European Union’s Framework Program for Research (FP6) and projects like Galileo and ITER (the next big international science project for producing electricity from nuclear fusion). EU member states, European industry, academic institutions, universities, and researchers from Europe and China are creating impressive collaborations. We should discuss how S&T relations will underpin our relations that are dominated by investment and trade,” he said. Potocnik sees this discussion timely also to reflect on the EUs Lisbon Strategy, –now in preparation- the Seventh Framework Program (FP7) and also on the new Chinese S&T strategy, the so called “2020 plan,” which will be released in the coming weeks.

The forum will be attended by over 400 representatives from Science, national ministries, academies and industry; about one third of the participants come from Europe. Poland’s Minister for Science and Information Society Technologies, Mr. Michal Kleiber, will emphasize at the forum the role of the largest newcomer to the EU by sharing his views on national development strategies.

The forum will take place in parallel to the celebrations of 30 years diplomatic relations between the EU and China. It is intended to adopt a declaration to outlining the policy initiatives for building a knowledge-based strategic partnership between Europe and China in the coming years.

The forum will take place in the Hall of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing China. We have a limited number of tickets for Western Journalists (please register early with the Delegation).

Commissioner Potocnik will be available for a press conference in the EU Delegation on Friday, May 13 at 17:30 – 18:30.

(China.org.cn May 12, 2005)

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