China and India signed a memorandum of cooperation on natural science on Monday in Beijing.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSF), the People's Republic of China, and the Department of Science and Technology, the Republic of India, was signed by Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Ambassador to China Shivshankar Menon.
Under the memorandum, the two sides will collaborate in the fields of natural sciences with emphasis on physical sciences, mathematical sciences, chemical sciences and biological sciences, and further areas may be added to the list at any time by mutual agreement.
A practical means of initiating collaboration between scientists of the two countries is to hold meetings of equal numbers of researchers from each side alternately in China and India, the memorandum says, adding that such meetings are known as N+N.
The memorandum also encourages other forms of collaboration, including individual visits by leading scientists and joint research in areas or subjects identified as a priority by scientists of both sides.
NNSF Director Chen Jia'er said the memorandum greatly expanded bilateral cooperation in natural sciences and put forward for the first time concrete measures for cooperation, including the N+N meetings.
He said China and India shared common problems in science development, including how to combine modern science with traditional scientific systems and how to boost the economy by developing science and technology, and the memorandum would promote bilateral cooperation.
Cooperation in software and biological technologies, which were rapidly developing in both countries, would also be promoted through the memorandum, he said.
(People's Daily June 24, 2003)