Window-to-China

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28-7 China’s basic research expenditures average annual growth rate is 16.9 %

According to Wang Zhigang, director of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China’s original innovation capacity in science and technology has improved significantly. Basic research expenditures have increased rapidly, with an average annual growth rate of 16.9%, and the share of basic research in R&D expenditures has exceeded 6% for the first time. The level of basic research has improved significantly, and departments such as chemistry, materials, and physics have joined the world’s leading group. China has made numerous achievements in scientific and technological innovation, including research in quantum communication and superconductivity.

Japan JST China news, July 28, 2021

20-7 600 kmh MAGLEV nears production in Qingdao, Shandong Province

Launched in October 2016, the high-speed maglev train has a designed top speed of 600 km per hour and conducted a successful test run in June 2020. According to the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), a train with five carriages has been running well on a test line within the factory. The train can travel with two to 10 carriages, each holding more than 100 passengers. It is said to provide the best solution for trips within a range of 1,500 km, filling a speed gap between aviation and high-speed trains.

Xinhua news release, July 20, 2021

© Xinhua news service

15-7 China’s 5G networks will help to upgrade its industry

According to Shang Hui, president of the China Internet Society, the number of 5G base stations built so far is 916,000, accounting for 70% of the world’s total, and the number of terminals connected to 5G networks is 365 million, accounting for 80% of the world’s total. According to Shang, China will strengthen the intensity of support and investment in basic core technologies such as 5G, big data, basic software, industrial software and artificial intelligence (AI), promote the upgrading of industrial fundamentals and the modernize the industrial chain.

Japan JST China news, July 15, 2021

13-7 Inner Mongolia will build solar power plant in sunken coal mine

The project is located in the coal mining area of Bazutao, Ulan Mulun Town, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The site covers an area of about 2,800 ha, and total investment for a 500,000 kW solar power plant is 2.14 billion yuan (about 280 million €). In addition to solar power generation, the local government plans to carry out ecological restoration in the project area and develop cultivation and animal husbandry to build a smart solar-powered rural complex. The project is expected to be connected to the grid and start generating power by the end of 2021.

Japan JST China news, July 13, 2021

© Xinhua news release

18-6 Carbon prizing will accelerate China’s energy transition away from coal

A systematic evaluation of the national carbon pricing effect on phasing out China’s operating coal plants has been conducted by a collaborative research team from the Institutes of Science and Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASISD), North China Electric Power University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, and Beihang University. Using full-sample data of China’s 4,540 operating coal plant units and a stochastic Monte-Carlo financial model to assess the financial sustainability of the plant operation, and the lifetime change of each plant unit induced by carbon pricing, they found that although China’s operating coal plant units are young and have a long residual technical lifetime, many of their operations are close to the break-even state with the current policy and market conditions. According to the researchers, the carbon pricing effect on China’s phasing out coal power are mainly determined by the carbon price evolution, carbon permit allocation methods and the pass-through of the carbon cost to the consumer. Even with low initial carbon price of 50 CNY/tCO2 growing at 4%/y and the permits being fully auctioned, the average residual lifetime of all the plants will be reduced by 5.43 years, and the cumulative CO2 emission from 2020 to 2050 will be reduced by 22.73 billion ton. With the carbon price further reaching 100 CNY/tCO2, the operating coal plant stock is expected to be phased out 6 years earlier. Moreover, the disparity in the carbon pricing effect among China’s 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities is significant and the western regions are more vulnerable to the carbon pricing risk than the eastern regions, with the residual lifetime being shortened by between 0.34 and 15.71 years via the carbon price of 50 CNY/tCO2

https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(21)00623-4?_returnURL=https%253A%252F%252Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%252Fretrieve%252Fpii%252FS2589004221006234%253Fshowall%253Dtrue

12-7 Six hydroelectric power stations along the Yangtze river now in full operation

The 6 stations are the Three Gorges Power Station, Gezhouba Power Station, Qiluohu Power Station, Xiangjingfang Power Station, Wugui Power Station and Baihetantan Power Station. They are operated by the Three Gorges Group. They comprise 96 generators, and the overall installed capacity has increased to 57,695,000 kW.

Japan JST China news, July 12, 2021

9-7 CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics establishes metabolic engineering platform of Pichia pastoris

ZHOU Yongjin and colleagues developed novel genetic tools for precise genome editing in Pichia pastoris by enhancing homologous recombination (HR) rates and engineering the multiple intrusion-induced rearrangement (MIR) processes. The key gene RAD52, which played crucial role in HR repair in Pichia pastoris, was overexpressed for improving the efficiency of single gene editing to 90%. This advanced gene editing systems can theoretically realize stable loading of more than 100 exogenous genes and precise regulating of gene expression in Pichia pastoris, which will provide convenience for the synthetic biology research of Pichia pastoris. 

CAS news release, July 9, 2021

© Image by CAI Peng

8-7 China’s „2020 National Renewable Energy Power Report“ claims 15.9% non-fossil energy and 56.8% coal for primary energy consumption

According to the “2020 National Renewable Energy Power Development Monitoring Evaluation Report” released by the National Energy Bureau (Energy Bureau), the actual consumption of renewable energy power nationwide in 2020 was 2,161.3 billion kWh. The share of electricity consumption in society as a whole increased by 1.3 points from the previous year to 28.8%. The consumption of non-hydroelectric renewable energy power nationwide was 856.2 billion kWh, which accounted for 11.4% of the total power consumption of society. China’s non-fossil energy accounted for 15.9% of primary energy consumption, reaching the world average level. The share of coal consumption has dropped to 56.8%. China is strongly promoting a green and low-carbon model conversion of energy. It strongly supports the acceleration of the decline in carbon dioxide emission intensity. The carbon emission intensity in 20 years was 48.4% lower than in 2005.

Japan JST China news, July 8, 2021

8-7 Chinese and Japanese scientists discuss conservation of the marine environment

The workshop organised by MOST and JST and attended by 30 scientists in Qingdao, Shandong Province, and over 10000 participants online, included a keynote report and a roundtable forum on themes such as marine environment and climate change, marine fishery biological resource conservation, and marine microplastics. Scientists in the field of marine environment actively exchanged opinions, discussed cutting-edge issues in science, and made recommendations and proposals for international cooperation in this field.

JST China news, July 8, 2021

5-7 China becomes world’s largest country for water irrigation on 37.8 million ha

According to the Rural Hydropower Bureau of the Ministry of Water Resources, the area of ​​water-saving irrigation in China as of the end of 2020 was 37.8 million ha. Of these, high-efficiency water-saving irrigation areas such as sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation, and pipeline irrigation were 23.3 million ha. The irrigated areas occupy about 50% of the cultivated land area, produces 75% of the total food and more than 90% of the commercial crops. China’s agricultural irrigation water usage has maintained an average of approximately 340 billion cubic meters per year for nearly 30 years, accounting for about 56% of society’s total water usage.

Japan JST China news, July 5, 2021

5-7 CAS Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences develops nano-scale borate bioactive glass, applications in wound healing

The group of WANG Junfeng and colleagues have used a special mobile phase to pre-treat micron-sized borate bioglass by a melting method in vitro. They obtained nano-scale (~50nm) borate bioglass (Nano-HCA@BG), which was covered with an amorphous hydroxyapatite (HCA) layer.

During the processing, the ions (PO43- and CO32-) in the mobile phase were deposited on the surface of the glass to form the HCA layer, which effectively inhibited the rapid release of boron and calcium in the remaining glass and thereby reduced the biological toxicity of the glass itself to cells. In addition, HCA, as an important inorganic component in bones, has good biocompatibility, and can accelerate the induction of collagen synthesis in tissues. The results of in vitro degradation experiments, cell experiments, and animal experiments showed that compared with the existing commercialized bioactive glass, HCA and micron-sized borate bioglass, nano-HCA@BG slow-released boron calcium, and other elements can effectively accelerate wound cells migration and further up-regulation of the expression of vascular-related growth factors in the wound.

CAS news release, July 5, 2021

30-6 World’s Largest Wind Turbine installed in Hebei Province

At a test site in Zhangbei County, Hebei Province, a wind turbine with a generator of 175 m diameter was installed. Compared to the predecessor with 160 m diameter, annual power generation is to increase by 40% and cost per kWh by over 10%.

Japan JST China news, June 30, 2021

© JST China news

27-6 CAAS Agricultural Genomics Institute breeds diploid hybrid potatoes

The team around HUANG Sangwen in Shenzhen used genome design to develop an inbred line of diploid potatoes, propagated by seeds. This might substitute the clonal propagated tetraploid crop. The estimated tuber yield of these F1 hybrids in the first plot trial is 40 tons per ha, indicating a huge yield potential. In addition, the hybrid potatoes are rich in dry matter and nutrient value.

Xinhua news release, June 28, 2021

21-6 Xinjiang’s first heliostat thermal power plant in test operation

14,500 heliostats were installed and tested in Naomaohuzhen, Hami, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Xinjiang’s first solar thermal power plant. The heliostats use the most advanced tower-type molten salt power generation technology to reflect sunlight to the heat storage area, which is 181 meters high. The thermal energy is converted to steam and drives a steam turbine. The annual electricity supply of the project is 198 million kWh, which can save 61,900 tons of standard coal equivalent every year.

Japan JST China news, June 25, 2021

© South China Morning Post/Xinhua

16-6 China announces “Industrial Internet Plan 2021”

According to plan, a National Industrial Internet Big Data Center will be almost completed by the end of 2021, promoting the conversion of industrial equipment and business systems to cloud computing by more than 100,000 companies. The plan also encourages large companies to build a digitization platform that suits the characteristics of SMEs, develop digitization services, and promote digitization of SMEs.

Japan JST China news, June 16, 2021

9-6 CAS Institute of Botany elucidates ripening of strawberry fruits

The group around QIN Guozheng studying the abscisic pathway (ABA) involved in fruit ripening found shown that mRNA m6A methylation, which is considered as an mRNA “epitranscriptome”, participates in the ripening control. The researchers found that m6A methylation displays a dramatic change at ripening onset of strawberry. The m6A modification in the coding sequence regions appears to be ripening-specific and tends to stabilize the mRNAs, whereas m6A around the stop codons and within the 3′ untranslated regions is generally negatively correlated with the abundance of the mRNAs. They identified thousands of transcripts with m6A hypermethylation in the coding sequence regions, including those of NCED5ABAR, and AREB1 in the ABA biosynthesis and signaling pathway. Further analysis demonstrated that the methyltransferases MTA and MTB are indispensable for normal ripening of strawberry fruit, and MTA-mediated m6A modification promotes mRNA stability of NCED5 and AREB1, while facilitates translation of ABAR

CAS news release, June 9, 2021

23-6 China’s „Earthlab“ begins trials to predict Earth systems on a time scale from seconds to hundreds of years

As a cooperation among CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Tsinghua University, EarthLab will use a high-performance scientific computing platform to simulate the physical climate system, environmental system, ecological system, solid earth system, and space weather system as a whole. Along with other Earth simulators around the world, EarthLab will advance the understanding of not only the Earth’s spheres and their interactions, but also the Earth’s past, present and future. The Chinese name of the EarthLab is huán for „vast“.

CAS news release, June 23, 2021

© EarthLab Outreach Hall. (Image by ZHU Jiang)

23-6 Artemisinin research center now under construction in Beijing

Located in Beijing’s Daxing Biopharmaceutical Center, the center, to be opened in June, 2022, covers an area of ​​73,000 square meters, with a central 13-story main building, 7-story large space laboratories on both east and west sides, priority laboratories, and animal experiments. The center, a tribute to Nobel laureate TU Youyou, will focus on the protection and development of Chinese medicine resources, quality assurance and improvement of Chinese medicine, research and development and industrialization of new medicines of Chinese medicine and its scientific basis.

Japan JST China news, June 23, 2021

21-6 Sinopec announces discovery of 1 billion t ultra-deep oil and gas field in the Tarim basin

After six years of intensive exploration activities, the field was located in the Tarim Basin Fuman district, which covers 10,000 square kilometers in the central area of ​​the Taklimakan Desert and the southern area of ​​the Tarim River. Recently, there was another discovery in the central part of the desert at the exploration well “Manfuka 2 well” in the same area. The depth of drilling reached 8470 meters and the height of the test oil column reached 550 meters, setting the deepest record for oil mining in this desert area.

Japan JST China news, June 21, 2021