China-U.S. Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation
On January 31, 1979, China and the U.S. signed an agreement on culture cooperation between the two countries. Since then, six implementation programs on the cultural exchanges were signed successively. The exchanges have been conducted in almost every category of culture and art, and have developed into a multi-channelled, multi-levelled and multi-formed situation. And such exchanges are increasing both in terms of frequency and scale in recent years. In February 1998, the Five Thousand Years' Chinese Civilization and Art Exhibition was held in New York, which was the largest Chinese art exhibition covering the widest range of history ever held overseas by China, with 500 items of art treasure exhibited. The exhibition has forcefully demonstrated China's history and culture. On May 5, U.S. returned to China 47 items of Chinese ancient cultural treasure which were seized by the U.S. Customs. The U.S. Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic visited China respectively in May and June. In the latter half of January 1999, the U.S. National Symphony Orchestra visited China, and President Jiang Zemin attended its opening performance in Beijing. China-U.S. educational exchanges and cooperation have seen further development as well. In 1998, during President Clinton's visit to China, the two sides renewed the Protocol between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in Educational Exchange, and signed the Agreement Between the Government of the United States and the Government of the People's Republic of China Concerning the U.S. Volunteer Program in China. In 1998, the Department of Health and Human Service of the United States and the Ministry of Health of China renewed the Protocol in the Science and Technology of Medicine and Public Health.
The year 1998 witnessed the continued development of the China-U.S. cooperation in the fields of science and technology, environment protection and energy resources. On May 6, China and the United States signed the MOU on implementing the Agreement of Cooperation between the Government of People's Republic of China and the Government of the United States Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. On May 8, the Ministry of Construction of China and the Department of Interior of the United States signed in Beijing the MOU on Cooperation in Management and Protection of National Parks & Other Natural Cultural Heritage Sites. In June, the National Environmental Protection Bureau of China and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a statement of intention on the project of monitoring city air quality. Respectively in September and November, the China-U.S. Energy-Financing Meeting and the China-U.S. Fuel Industry Forum were held in Beijing.
The Third Session of China-US Environment and Development Forum was held in Hawaii on January 11-12, 2000,with Madam Zhulilan, Minister of Science and Technology at the head of the Chinese delegation, and Doctor Neal Lane, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the White House at the head of the US delegation. Li zhaoxing, Chinese ambassador to the US attended the opening ceremony of the forum and delivered a speech. The two sides, divided into four working groups, discussed and exchanged views on energy policy, environment policy, science for sustainable development and commercial cooperation. They reviewed their cooperation in these areas, analyzed the existing problems and tabled proposals for solving these problems. The discussions helped enhance mutual understanding between the two sides in the above-mentioned areas. The two sides reached consensus on many issues and expressed intent of cooperation in some areas.
On January 14, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Zhu Lilan and Neal Lane, Assistant to the U.S. President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the White House co-chaired the 9th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Committee on Science and Technology. The two sides discussed and exchanged views on the issues of basic science cooperation, environmental protection, hygiene & health, reduction of disasters by means of science and technology, science and technological cooperation in agriculture and industries, etc.