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Wednesday, January 17, 2001, updated at 18:10(GMT+8)

Social Sciences Academy Aims at Top-level Study

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) is trying to create a better research environment to help researchers achieve high goals in 2001.

The CASS will streamline its management of scientific research and institutionalizing a system on choosing and funding projects, Wang Luolin, vice president of the CASS, said at the ongoing annual work conference of the academy.

Wang said the academy will set up branches offering researches that will have a lot of influence nationally and worldwide.

Wang also urged a rigorous and innovative spirit in scientific research.

Meanwhile, the CASS must create a mechanism of competition, encouraging young experts to contribute more to the academy, Wang said.

Starting in 2001, the CASS is scheduled to carry out its internal restructuring in a bid to revitalize scientific study and development.

On its priority list, the CASS plans to build a giant library and a new building for the Institute of Archaeology, as well as renovate the Institute of Economics building and the lecture hall.

China to Foster Authorities in Social Sciences

China's top think tank plans to foster a group of academic authorities and world-famous research institutes in the coming five years.

According to the five-year (2001-2005) development plan, which is submitted to the ongoing annual work conference of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) for discussion, the academicians should come up with their own principles or theories on academic fields and make outstanding achievements which are highly valued by worldwide experts.

The CASS hopes 30 to 40 of these academicians will be successful by the end of 2005.

Meanwhile, the world-famous research institutes must have leaders in the field of academics, advanced research facilities and information databases. Maybe six to eight of these institutes will be able to reach this goal.

During the next five years, the CASS will complete the construction of 50 national labs for social sciences and complete about 100 significant scientific projects, said Jiang Lansheng, vice president of the CASS.

The CASS is expected to invite heads of the 50 key labs from both domestic and overseas. Any applicant can freely bid for the posts, with the full responsibility for scientific research in the labs.

The labs will represent the highest academic level of the CASS, Jiang said.

With a start-up investment of 2 million yuan (US$240,000), the labs could be equipped with teleconference facilities and computers with Internet access. In addition, those labs would get 1 million yuan worth of funds every year.

Glorious Research Achievements in 2000

When its management body decided to restructure the academy in 2000, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) made glorious academic achievements.

Wang said in the past year his academy chose 69 key projects for study, including those significant ones, such as economic theories in the socialist market economy, ethnic problems, economic globalization, the westward economic development in China, and the socialist legal system.

Researchers at the academy have made a lot of progress in political economics, the precise dating project of the ancient three dynasties of Xia, Shang and Zhou (21 century B.C. - 221 B.C.), modern literature in China, the history of Chinese Confucianism, concise encyclopedia of Africa, the macro-control policy on China's economy, the industrial development strategy of central and west China in the 21st century, China's industries after entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the sustained development of the nation.

Meanwhile, a total of 131 academic achievements received awards from the CASS. The six top-prize winners, namely Trade Balance Between China and Foreign Countries from 1895 to 1936 by Chen Zhengping, Highest Decision Maker of the Soviet Union in 70 Years by Xing Guangcheng, On Intellectual Property by Zheng Chengsi, Linguistic Boundary and No Boundary by Shen Jiaxuan, Weiyang Palace of Chang'an in the Han Dynasty by Liu Qingzhu, and Research on Philosophy and Logic by Zhang Qingyu, reflected the latest academic advancement by Chinese social scientists.

By the end of 2000, the state had poured nearly 250 million yuan (US$30 million) into the academy, with an increase of 11.81 percent compared with that of the previous year, Wang said.

The total investment into academic research last year exceeded 100 million yuan.

Statistics show that 53 percent of the researchers in the CASS are professors or associate professors. About 60 percent of the researchers under the age of 45 have degrees of doctor or master.

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The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) is trying to create a better research environment to help researchers achieve high goals in 2001.

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