Scientists from China and the U.S. are teaming up to launch researches on environmental science and technology.
"We already have some small projects in the pipeline, but we are talking about major action." Wednesday's China Daily quoted George Gray, assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as saying.
"We will explore approaches such as joint research programs with scientists from the two nations and funding from the two governments, frequent personnel exchanges and science workshops," he said.
According to Sun Hong, deputy director of the social development department of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China wants to cooperate with the U.S. in five major fields.
"Drinking water safety, recycling of urban sewage, treatment of polluted water, monitoring of environmental protection and clean production systems are included," said Sun.
And as for the U.S., "it is interested in all areas of environmental science", Gray told China Daily.
"Environmental science has always been a focus of Sino-U.S. cooperation on Science and technology. It will help China tackle its growing environmental problems," said Liu Yanhua, vice-minister of science and technology.
At present, some 300 million Chinese farmers in rural areas cannot drink safe drinking water, and the air quality in more than one-third of the country's cities is below the national standard, Liu said.
Scientists from both of the countries have begun their discussion on a three-day China-U.S. Workshop on Environmental Science and Technology Cooperation, which opened in Beijing on Tuesday.
Discussions are said to focus on the safety of drinking water, emerging environmental technologies and the building of "green communities".
The workshop is the first of its kind between the two countries, also the first major activity since China and the U.S. signed an agreement in December to cooperate on environmental protection.