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UPDATED: September 6, 2010 NO. 41 OCTOBER 19, 1995
China Cooperates Extensively With UNESCO

Since its founding, the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO has conducted widespread and highly effective international exchanges related to education, science and culture.

The China Agency of the UNESCO Inter-Governmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has been busy over the past decade, scoring notable achievements. During the period, China participated in activities of the Tropical Oceans and Global Atmosphere (TOGA), the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), Global Sea-Level Observing System (GLOSS), Integrated Global Ocean Station System (IGOSS) and Working Committee for International Oceanographic Data Exchanges (IODE), all of which were launched by the IOC. Participation in international exchanges has in turn promoted the progress of China's oceanographic research.

Thus far, the China Agency of the IOC has obtained volumes of valuable oceanic data by conducting global surveys and observations in cooperation with other countries. In addition to establishing relations with many countries for exchange of oceanic information and documents, China has accelerated construction of its coastal observatory network. In line with an IOC decision, China formally established the Nansha Islands Oceanic Observatory Station in the late 1980s, thereby filling a long existing gap in observations of that particular area. In 1993, Chinese scholar Su Jilan was elected chairman of the West Pacific IOC subcommission.

The achievements of the China Agency represent only a small part of the overall effort of the China National Commission of UNESCO in recent years. According to the most recent statistics, in 1994 alone, China, a founding member of UNESCO, joined with member nations of UNESCO to carry out 235 projects related to education, science and culture. The smooth implementation of the projects has gradually led to an expansion of China's influence in these areas. At the same time, China has called upon intellectual assistance from its sister UNESCO members.

Educational input

Like UNESCO, China has always acknowledged the importance of education. Since 1978, the Chinese government has dispatched numerous high-ranking delegations, including vice-premiers and state councillors, to attend the 37th through 44th international conferences on education, the Third International Conference on Adult Education in 1985 and the International Conference of States With a View Toward Adoption of the Regional Convention on Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific in 1983. Various other delegations have attended the regional conferences of ministers of education and those responsible for economic planning in Asia and the Pacific in 1978, 1985 and 1992, the World Conference for All in 1990, and the Education for All Summit of Nine High-Population Developing Countries held in New Delhi in 1993. Chinese delegations attending the conferences provided briefings on the development of education in China.

As part of its effort to implement the spirit of the World Conference on Education for All, China took the lead by convening the China Conference on Education for All, which ended with the adoption of the Education Action Program for Chinese People. UNESCO highly praised the conference, noting that China set an example in the effort to promote education for humanity.

In recent years, to address major problems with regard to the development of education in China, the China National Commission for UNESCO has sponsored a series of international seminars which have attracted ministers of education and international scholars. The meetings include the International Symposium on Higher Education Reform held in 1989, the International Symposium on Qualities Required of Education Today to Meet Foreseeable Demand in the 21st Centenary in 1990, the International Symposium on Rural Education '91, the International Symposium on Technical and Vocational Education '93 and the International Symposium on the Market Economy and Educational Reform '94.

China has also recorded significant progress in terms of basic education and eliminating illiteracy, with programs receiving the enthusiastic affirmation of UNESCO. Since the 1980s, Bazhong County in Sichuan Province, Wulian County in Shandong Province, Songtao County in Guizhou Province and Xiping County in Henan Province, as well as the educational commissions of Gansu, Jilin, Hunan and Heilongjiang provinces and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, have received various types of UNESCO educational funding or have otherwise been commended by the organization.

In terms of educational cooperation, many areas have adopted useful foreign experiences and have in turn obtained effective results. A prime example centers on the implementation of Joint Innovative Project on Raising the Achievement Level of Children in Primary Education (JIP) by the Gansu Provincial Education Commission. Since 1986, Gansu introduced the JIP to 100 primary schools in nine prefectures. Despite its underdeveloped economy, the province has placed stress on four key elements - preschool preparation, teachers training, improving teaching methods and materials, and gaining the support of parents and society. All experimental schools are carrying out related programs. As a result, the marks of primary school students have improved greatly. By the end of 1993, the number of primary schools implementing similar programs had jumped dramatically to 1,200 schools with a total enrollment of well over 100,000 students.

Scientific research

Over the years, UNESCO has sponsored numerous international cooperative research projects related to the basic and engineering sciences, oceanography, biology, hydrology, geology, information and energy, all projects warmly welcomed by member nations of UNESCO.

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