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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Scientific and technological cooperation

Scientific and technological cooperation under the intergovernmental agreement of 21 October 1978 currently focuses on several priority areas determined in May 2011 at the 13th Joint French-Chinese Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, including sustainable development, biodiversity and water management, energy and life sciences.

This cooperation is also characterized by a cooperation agreement on preventing and combating emerging infectious diseases signed by the French and Chinese governments in 2004. The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai (IPS), which was launched in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was inaugurated on that occasion. The IPS, together with the Sino-French Laboratory in Computer Science, Automation and Applied Mathematics (LIAMA) in Beijing which was set up by a partnership between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and INRIA, constitute models of research excellence. Over 2000 researchers from the two countries and from 300 laboratories are currently cooperating within some 30 French-Chinese public research institutions.

Cultural and artistic cooperation

In the field of artistic and cultural exchanges, the annual “Croisements” artistic festival in China which, since 2006, has established the success of the 2004 and 2005 cross-cultural years, helps to deepen the knowledge of our cultures and provide a renewed image of France based not only on culture and the arts, but also on modernity and technology.

The Festival already brought together more than 500,000 spectators in 2012, while the 2013 edition, which staged 91 events in 25 big Chinese cities, gathered one million people. The 2014 edition of the "Croisements" Festival, which was part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of French-Chinese diplomatic relations, attracted a record 1.2 million visitors who were able to choose from 110 programmes that presented close to 600 events in 41 cities of mainland China.

Our cultural cooperation is based on the intergovernmental agreement of September 2002, which was renewed in April 2013 during the French President’s visit to China.

University and language cooperation

In the academic field, an extensive programme of French government grants such as the "France Excellence programme", the establishment in partnership of higher education institutions of excellence such as the Ecole Centrale of Beijing graduate school and the Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering (SIAE) in Tianjin, and the signing of new partnerships, should help boost higher education exchanges between the two countries in the coming years. In the space of ten years, the number of Chinese students in France has increased tenfold, with some 35,000 students currently enrolled in French higher education establishments. Chinese students are thus the second largest foreign student group in France.

In addition, the "Club France" network of Chinese alumni in France, created in 2008 on the initiative of the French Embassy in China, has almost 15,000 members and 6,000 active members. The Third Sino French Higher Education Forum was organized in Beijing on 24 October 2014 and attended by 100 French and Chinese establishments. As part of the 50th anniversary, in 2014, of the establishment of diplomatic relations, France was the guest of honour of the 15th edition of the China Education Expo (CEE) from 25 October to 2 November 2014.

Language cooperation was marked in 2011-2012 by the Chinese and French Language Year, which reflected our two countries’ common desire to learn the language and culture of the other and so helped gain a deeper mutual knowledge of our societies. Chinese was studied by 41,000 French secondary education students and 17,000 higher education students in 2013-2014. Chinese is the fifth most widely taught language in France. Likewise, there are about 100,000 students of French in China. Moreover, there were 35 international sections of Chinese in 2014 and 8 international sections of French are due to open in China at the start of the 2015 school year.

Following the signing of an agreement in March 2013 between the International Centre for Educational Studies (CIEP) and China’s National Education Examinations Authority (NEEA), French Official Language Certifications such as DELF (French Language Studies Diploma) and DALF (Advanced French Language Diploma) have existed in China since the end of 2013. In addition, the network of 13 Alliance Française Teaching Centres in China brings together more than 38,000 students.

Environmental and sustainable development cooperation

French cooperation in China is based on three priorities: the fight against climate change, sustainable urban development and water-related issues.

The French Development Agency (AFD) has been operating in China since 2004 in the framework of a partnership with China’s Ministry of Finance and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The AFD’s action is intended to accompany China’s transition to a low-carbon and environment-friendly economy, and to promote the expertise and know-how of French actors in the framework of partnerships. Since 2004, 25 projects have been implemented for a total worth of €1,029 million in authorizations (sovereign loans under market conditions since 2011) and two new projects are currently implemented in the Heilongjiang and Fujian provinces.

Decentralized cooperation

Since the first Meeting on French-Chinese Decentralized Cooperation in Wuhan in 2005, France and China have opted to deepen the ties forged between their local governments, notably as regards the introduction of clean and sustainable urban policies suited to new lifestyles.

Currently, 70 French local governments are operating in China, acting as umbrellas for 150 projects implemented with 90 partner Chinese local governments in key territorial development sectors, including universities, research and the economy. 15 leading French local governments have opened a representation in China. Decentralized cooperation with China is gradually developing and boosting the economic development of our local governments, as well as cultural and university cooperation between France and China. The fourth Meeting on French-Chinese Decentralized Cooperation was held in Strasbourg in November 2014 and more than 50 Chinese local governments and some 130 Chinese businesses were represented at the Meeting.

Update: 07.10.15



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