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Thursday, October 12, 2000, updated at 09:16(GMT+8)

21st Century to See Rapid Development of Engineering Science: Jiang

President Jiang Zemin said Wednesday that the 21st century is expected to be a time of rapid development of engineering and technological sciences.

Jiang, the Chinese head of state and a former engineer, made the remark at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing while delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2000 International Conference of Engineering and Technological Sciences.

More than 2,000 engineering experts from more than 30 countries and regions worldwide are participating in the four-day conference to review the achievements of the past century in engineering and technological sciences and discuss strategies to ensure new development which could bring more benefit to mankind in the new century.

Endorsed by the Washington-based Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS), the academic meeting is for members of CAETS, and is the largest and highest-ranking international meeting of its kind ever held in China.

Jiang said that more than ten million Chinese engineering and technological personnel, including such world-renowned engineers as Zhan Tianyou, Mao Yisheng and Li Siguang, have made historic contributions to the country's modernization drive.

Song Jian, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), presided over the opening ceremony.

The six keynote speakers at this morning's ceremony included Kamil Idris, director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Nobel laureate S.C.C. Ting, William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States, Alec Broers, vice chancellor of Cambridge University, and Xu Kuangdi, CAE member and mayor of Shanghai.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Jiang met with some 30 famous scientists and experts attending the conference, and held friendly talks with the six lecturers.

During the four-day conference, the experts are scheduled to discuss an array of topics: advanced manufacturing and vehicle technology, information technology in the 21st century, advanced materials, energy strategy and technology for sustainable development, civil engineering, technological innovation and sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, and biochip technologies.

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Chinese President Jiang Zemin said the 21st Century will be a time for more rapid development of engineering and technological sciences when addressing over 2000 engineering experts Wednesday in Beijing.

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