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Exchanges and Cooperation in the Fields of Culture,Science and Technology, Education and Military
2003/10/10

1. Cultural Exchanges

The Agreement on Educational and Cultural Cooperation between the Chinese and British governments was signed in November 1979. The two countries have experienced active cultural exchanges and frequent visits by British art troupes in recent years. Performance teams from China Symphony Orchestra and Central Nationalities Orchestra were well-received in the UK in 1998 and the artists from Royal National Theatre and Royal Academy of Music also traveled from the UK to China in the same year. The most recent high-profile cultural event was the visit to China by Britain's Royal Ballet in May 1999.

2. Exchanges and Cooperation in Science and Technology

In addition to the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the two governments signed in November 1978, over 20 agreements or memorandums have been signed by relevant departments or institutions of the two countries ever since, covering such fields as basic research, environmental protection, health, agriculture, meteorology, space and aviation. The Amendment to the Protocol on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the two Governments was signed in September 1998. When the British Prime Minister Tony Blair was visiting China in October 1998, an announcement was made that the two governments would grant ?600,000 to establish the China-UK Scientific and Technological Collaboration Fund.

3. Eductional Exchanges and Cooperation

The UK is one of the earliest among European countries to join China in creating academic bonds. The recent programmes include the Gansu Basic Education Programme initiated by the two sides in 1998, the Sino-British Conference of University Vice-Chancellors and Principals held yearly in Beijing or London since 1999, the linking of CERNET (China Educational Research Network) and JANET (Britain's Joint Academic Network) in 1998. In addition, around 110 to 150 British volunteers come to teach in less developed areas of China every year.

Statistics indicated that over 15000 Chinese students have studied in Britain since 1978, including about 7000 in 1998. As the other way around, over 2500 self-sponsored British students have studied in China since 1980 including 428 in 1998. Programmes still under implemetation are Sino-British schorlarship exchanges,

British Chevening Scholarship Scheme for China administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Sino-British Friendship Scholarship Fund Scheme.

4. Military Exchanges

China and the UK exchanged military attaches at the end of 1972 and a series of significant two-way visits within the military circle have been taking placing thereafter: the British Chief of the General Defence Nell Cameron paid an official goodwill visit to China in April 1978 at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Defence; the Chinese Minister of Defence Zhang Aiping visited the UK in September 1986 and signed officially with the British Secretary of State for Defence the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation on Defence Equipment between the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Air Vice-Marshal Nigel Baldwin (Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff), Lt. General Foley (Chief of Defence Intelligence), Field Marshal Peter Inge (Chief of the Defence Staff) visited China successively in 1996; Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army Fu Quanyou visited the UK in March of 1997; Vice Admiral McNally, Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies, visited China in September 1998; Air Force Commander Liu Shunyao visited the UK and Admiral Michael Boyce, the First Sea Lord, visited China in March 1999; General Charles Guthrie, Chief of the Defence Staff, visited China in October 1999.
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