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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Scientific and technological cooperation

Scientific and technological cooperation, the framework for which was set out in the intergovernmental agreement of 21 October 1978, currently focuses on certain priority areas determined at the 13th Joint Franco-Chinese Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in May 2011 (sustainable development, biodiversity and water management, energy, life sciences, etc.).

A cooperation agreement on preventing and combating emerging infectious diseases was signed between the two governments in 2004, and was accompanied by the launch of the Institut Pasteur in Shanghai (IPS) in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Together, IPS and the Sino-French Laboratory for Computer Science, Automation and Applied Mathematics (LIAMA) in Beijing, a partnership between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA), set the benchmark for models of research excellence.

Cultural and artistic cooperation

In the field of artistic and cultural exchanges, the annual Croisements arts festival, instituted in 2006 to perpetuate the highly successful cross-cultural events of 2004 and 2005, offers deeper insights into the cultures of the two countries and presents an up-to-date image of France as a centre not only of culture and the arts but also of modernity and cutting-edge technology. The 2011 Festival attracted audiences of over 500,000, and the 2012 edition staged 134 events in 24 major cities across China, ranging from dance to theatre by way of cinema, music and exhibitions. The spotlight in 2012 was on innovative projects such as contemporary circus, contemporary dance and new productions, as well as joint Franco-Chinese productions.

University and linguistic cooperation

In the academic field, an extensive programme of French government grants such as the France Excellence programme, the establishment of jointly-sponsored elite higher education institutions such as the Ecole Centrale of Beijing graduate school or the Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering in Tianjin, plus the signing of new partnerships, will drive growth in higher education exchanges between the two countries in the years ahead. Over the past ten years, the number of Chinese students in France has increased tenfold, with some 30,000 students currently enrolled in French higher education establishments. When it comes to mobility, Chinese students make up the largest single body of foreign students in France.

Linguistic cooperation in 2011-2012 centred on the Chinese and French Language Year, announced during the State visit to France by President Hu Jintao in November 2010. Inaugurated in July 2011 with the launch of "Chinese Language Year in France", the initiative reflects the common desire in each of the two countries to learn the language and culture of the other and so gain a deeper mutual understanding of our two societies. 27,850 secondary school pupils in France are currently learning Chinese (excluding distance learning), which is the fifth most widely taught foreign language in France. In China, some 70,000 Chinese pupils are learning French.

Cooperation on the environment and sustainable development The aim of France’s cooperation with China is also to defend our positions in the major international fora and in negotiations with our partners; our commitment to protecting the environment, with special priority given to climate change, sustainable urban development and water issues, has a major contribution to make in this respect. The French Development Agency (AFD) has been active in China since 2004, under the terms of a partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission, providing its support for China’s transition to a low-carbon, environment-friendly economy and making the expertise and knowhow of French actors available to bilateral partnerships. A total of 18 projects have been completed since 2004, involving €900 million of loans authorised by AFD (sovereign loans on market terms, since 2011).

Decentralised cooperation

In the wake of the Franco-Chinese decentralised cooperation meetings in Wuhan in 2005, France and China have been working to strengthen the links between local and regional authorities in the two countries with the aim of introducing policies for clean, sustainable cities geared to today’s new lifestyles.

68 French regional authorities are currently engaged in some 160 projects in China, covering all the key sectors of local and regional development (culture, universities, research, the economy, etc.). 15 leading French regions have opened representative offices in China. Decentralised cooperation with China is growing apace, contributing to the economic development of our regions and also to cultural and academic cooperation between France and China.

Updated on 27.03.2013

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