International Cooperation



Engineering and Sustainable Development in China --Remarks at the Banquet of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

  • Published: Dec 10, 2010
  • Source: CAE
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Zhou Ji

President, Chinese Academy of Engineering

November 12, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen,


First, on behalf of the Delegation of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), I’d love to give our most sincere thanks to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) for inviting us to visit your beautiful country.


The CAE and the ATSE have developed a good cooperative relationship. In particular, our friendly exchange has been growing continuously over the last few years. These two days, we had fruitful meetings with Mr. Kim Carr and Mr. Mark Paterson, Minister and Secretary of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and Prof. Robin Batterham, President of ATSEas well as some senior officials and scientists of Australia. Broad consensus has been reached that we shall make joint efforts for further cooperation to advance engineering sciences and technologies and to contribute to the friendship of our two peoples.


Ladies and gentlemen,


Over the 60 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially the 30 years since the adoption of the Reform and Opening Policy, the Chinese people have gone through trials and hardships and strived for historical achievements of rapid economic and social development. China’s overall national strength has notably increased. The country has become more prosperous and the people’s livelihood has markedly improved. However, we realize that China is now faced with most difficult tasks and severe challenges on the path of modernization and sustainable development. The basic national condition for China is that we have a 1.3 billion population, and any seemingly large achievement would be a minimal step forward when divided by 1.3 billion, while a minor problem multiplied by 1.3 billion makes a gigantic difficulty. Although China’s total GDP volume has been among the top few of the world, its per capita GDP remains somewhere behind 100th worldwide. China is still in its middle stage of industrialization.


Severely constrained by population, resources and environment, the traditional way of development of China cannot last any further. Changing the pattern of economic development at a quicker pace is an urgent need. In this perspective, China is at a historical key point. The Chinese government, having decided to implement “Scientific Development Outlook”, has explicitly stressed on the "people first" principle, and put emphasis on comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development. It has also put forward the “major breakthrough” in economic restructuring and the expedited transformation of economic development pattern as the main line.


Ladies and gentlemen,


The Chinese people have fully recognized that science and technology constitute a primary productive force and the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education should be further enforced. To accelerate the transformation of economic development pattern and to realize the scientific development, the fundamental issue is to rely on science and technology, and the key is to significantly enhance the capacity of scientific and technological innovation, where engineering sciences and technologies play vital supporting and leading role. The Chinese government is now formulating the 12th Five-Year Development Plan, mapping out growth blueprint for the next five years from 2011 to 2015. The plan has stressed that the mission of engineering science and technology community is to support the development and to lead the future. Three major tasks included are as the following:


1. Upgrade and optimize industrial structure. In industrial restructuring, developing and nurturing emerging industries should be the top priority, and China should promote such industrial technologies as energy saving, environment protection, information, bio-engineering, high-end manufacturing, new energies, new materials, etc. to create new economic growth points. The emphasis will be on the development of hi-tech industries, and, in the mean time, great efforts should be made to transform and upgrade the traditional industries with high technologies. Chinaneeds to create a modern industrial system with high scientific and technological contents and added values, to make further drive in the development of modern agriculture, advanced manufacturing and modern service industry, shifting from scale advantages to technological advantages, and eventually raising the industrial qualities and the overall competitiveness.


2. Promote sustainable economic and social development. Resource, energy and environment are bottlenecks constraining China’s sustainable development. China is determined to develop energy and resource exploration and utilization technologies, especially low-carbon technologies, new energy technologies and environment protection technologies, changing the previous pattern of economic development dependent on high input and high consumption into a novel path of industrialization with high scientific and technological elements, good economic effectiveness, low resource consumption, low environmental pollution, and full utilization of human resources so as to build a resource-saving and environment-friendly society.


3. Improve people’s livelihood. China will develop sciences and technologies relating to people’s livelihood, in particular eco-friendly agricultural technologies of high yield, high quality and high efficiency as well as health technologies for improving people’s standard of living, elevating the quality and quantity of life consumables for people, benefiting the general public with more scientific and technological achievements, and eventually realizing harmonious social development.


Ladies and gentlemen,


The Chinese Academy of Engineering has been the country’s topmost honorary and consulting academic organization. It has been playing a significant role in China’s modernization drive and has made remarkable achievements in promoting China’s development of engineering sciences and technologies. CAE currently has 748 members and 38 foreign members, who have made great contributions and been playing the leadership role in various areas in engineering sciences and technologies. Consultation is the central work of the CAE. For 16 years, CAE has undertaken hundreds of consultative studies based on national, local and industrial development needs, including a large number of key development strategy studies on energy, mining resources, water resource, environmental protection, transportation, urban development, information and medicine, and provided support for decision-making on the country’s key development policies. Our work has attracted close attention of Chinese leaders, from the president of the state, prime minister to leaders of local governments. In the meantime, CAE has organized the members in many ways to offer recommendations for industry on technical innovation and economic benefit increase, providing guidance for industrial technical alliances in various fields. Our efforts are well welcome by the industry and engineering communities. In the future development, CAE will act more actively as the country’s think tank in engineering sciences and technologies and make further contributions to China’s modernization process.


Ladies and gentlemen,


China’s 30 years of rapid development has relied on two national policies, reform and opening-up to the world. In the future, to maintain scientific development, China needs to still rely on the fundamental national strategies of reform and opening-up to the world. China hopes to strengthen our friendly partnerships with countries around the world, and jointly build a peaceful and harmonious world. CAE wishes to further our collaboration with the ATSE, continue to elevate cooperative level, expand cooperative realm and deepen cooperative research, and make greater efforts for the enhancement of the friendship between the two peoples of China and Australia. Therefore, I’d like to suggest further efforts in the following three aspects:


1. Jointly open strategic research programs to address engineering problems of common concern. We may jointly sponsor research projects on major strategic prospective problems in the development of engineering, such as low-carbon utilization of coal resource, make joint in-depth studies, and propose consultative recommendations for decision-making.


2. Jointly hold academic activities in various forms. CAE and ATSE may hold frontiers of engineering symposia, and discuss the major problems and in depth issues in engineering sciences and technologies.


3. Jointly promote engineering personnel exchange, in particular increasing the exchange visits of graduate students and young engineering talents.


We firmly believe that through equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, engineers and scientists around the world will surely make greater contributions to building a peaceful and harmonious world. Let’s join hands, raise the sail of partnership and friendship, and navigate the ship of our academies into an even brighter future.


Thank you all.