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|Sunday, June 18, 2000, updated at 16:35(GMT+8)|
Chinese President on Development of Science and TechnologyChinese President Jiang Zemin said that China is implementing a strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and technology and education in a bid to promote the construction and development of China.
Jiang, who is also the general-secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Ellis Rubinstein, editor of US "Science " magazine, on May 17. "Science", an internationally recognized magazine on science and technology, published the interview in its latest issue of June 16.
Jiang said that people in China attach great importance to science and technology. "China has a long history with splendid achievements in science and technology," he said.
However, "Starting from the last years in the Ming Dynasty ( 1368-1644), it began to lag behind other countries in terms of science and technology," he said.
"From Newton's dynamics to Einstein's theory of relativity and to the latest development of the Internet, science and technology in the world has developed by leaps and bounds, so I often ask myself why China began to lag behind after that?" Jiang said.
"Generally speaking, the reason lies with the feudal system in China," he said. "In the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall was renovated and strengthened. The feudal rulers forbade traveling aboard and later imposed restrictions on entry into and exit from China via sea. That closed the door to external exchanges between China and the rest of the world," he added.
The situation changed since the founding of new China, according to Jiang. The Chinese government always attaches great importance to the development of science and technology. Now, China is implementing a strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and technology and education in a bid to promote the construction and development of China, he said.
The president noted that China has put the construction of large research facilities high on the agenda to propel scientific advances.
"In recent years we have already built a number of large research facilities," he said.
The facilities mentioned by Jiang included Beijing Electron-Positron Collider, Lanzhou Heavy Ion Accelerator, Hefei Tokmak Facility, and Qinghua Low-Temperature Nuclear Reactor.
"Construction and operation of these facilities have enhanced our research capability and broadened our capacity to probe the unexplored world," Jiang pointed out.
According to Jiang, a number of large research facilities are still under construction.
The Chinese government will intensify its efforts for the construction of large scientific facilities in the Tenth Five-Year plan (2001-2005) to improve the country's basic research capabilities, the president said.
"We hope to expand the channels for scientific collaboration with other countries and take an active part in international collaborations with large research facilities," he said.
Meanwhile, President Jiang affirmed that he hopes all young people, both Chinese and foreign, and all scientists and scholars around the world will make the best use of the Internet, but should guard against negative impacts of the net.
Jiang noted that the development of the Internet has nowadays afforded people an easier access to a whole wealth of information throughout the world.
He said that China has a huge number of Internet users and most of them are people aged between 24 and 35.
"I'd like to point out that the added value of information is reflected by the fact that it is open to all and shared by all," he said. "So I hope all young people, both Chinese and foreign, and all scientists and scholars around the world will make the best use of the Internet and other means of communication."
But the president warned that people should guard against the negative impacts of the net.
All countries in the world share concerns on how to protect our young people from the negative impact of the Internet, he said.
The media have been developing very rapidly, and people are now open to opinions and suggestions from other people of all walks of life.
"One thing must be ensured that facts should not be distorted," he stressed. "And I think this should also apply to the Internet. Otherwise people would ask how to tell truth from distortion on the Internet?"
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