Obama greets 30th anniversary of U.S.-China science, technology collaboration

October 16, 2009 8:59 pm 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a greeting letter to representatives taking part in the 13th U.S.-China Joint Commission Meetings on Science and Technology Cooperation to celebrate 30 years of collaboration in science and technology between the two countries, according to a senior White House official.

The letter, dated to October 8, was read on Thursday evening by John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology at White House.

"I am proud to acknowledge that the United States-China Science and Technology Agreement is the longest-standing of all bilateral agreements between our nations. It has certainly passed the test of time. Its importance, however, goes far beyond its admirable longevity," Obama said in the letter.

The U.S. president said in realms as diverse as water resource management, earthquake monitoring, and energy research and development, scientists and engineers in the two countries have shared their expertise and enthusiasm, proving that science and technology can build bridges between nations. He hoped that the two countries continue demonstrating to the rest of the world that it is possible to build a better, stronger and more prosperous future through science and technology cooperation.

The 13th Joint Commission Meetings began on Thursday. Minister Wan Gang of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology led the 46-member Chinese delegation that included Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong, as well as officials from several ministries involved in science, research, education and technology and innovation.

In 1979, the U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement was the first agreement signed by the U.S. with China by President Jimmy Carter and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. The Agreement continues to serve as a cornerstone for the bilateral relationship. Since its signing, the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement has facilitated an era of robust government- to-government research and exchange programs in areas of mutual interest including agriculture, energy, health, environment, earth sciences, marine research, and nuclear safety to improve the quality of life for the people of both countries.

The Agreement provides a framework under which 16 or more U.S. science and technology-based entities and nearly the same number of Chinese government counterparts can actively engage in collaborative research and development. Currently, there are more than 30 agency-to- agency ongoing, joint-project collaborations. For the 21st century, U.S.-China joint science and technology cooperation priorities will include clean energy and climate change, food security and agriculture, public health, and general cooperation seeking innovative science and technology-based solutions to global challenges. (PNA/Xinhua) LBV/utb

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