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Science and technology agreement

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No. M41 Date 6 June .1979 THE H O N / ANDREW PEACOCK M.P.


The Australian Foreign Minister, Andrew Peacock and the Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua today initialled in Peking an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the Governments of Australia and China.

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Mr Peacock said it was most pleasing that negotiations between the two Governments had culminated in the text of an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation which he had today initialled. He paid warm tribute to the efforts on both sides which led to this agreement.

Mr Peacock said that this agreement would provide the basis for direct cooperation between institutions of the two countries engaged in scientific and technological research and higher education, many of which had already established contact with each other. It would thus make a direct contri­ bution to China's modernisation of science and technology and

of significant fields of agriculture and industry. It would also be of tangible benefit to the Australian institutions involved. Australia therefore welcomed the conclusion of this

agreement as a further strengthening of friendly relations and practical cooperation between the two countries and peoples.

The Minister explained that this agreement would complement the trade agreement between the two countries which was concluded in 1973 and which governs the exchange of industrial' and technical expertise which is the property of commercial firms and enterprises.

In recent years, he said, there had been a considerable expansion in visits by scientists between Australia and China. Since 1977 the Academia Sihica and the Australian Academy of Science had been conducting an active scientific exchange program which was now in the process of being formalised. An

arrangement to exchange ionospheric data was signed in 1978. These increased contacts had been fruitful in stimulating scientific cooperation between Australia and China.


Mr Peacock said that following discussions^between the Australian Prime Minister atid Premier Hu a Guofeng in 1976 exchange visits had taken place between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and the Australian Department of Primary

Industry to define areas for future agricultural cooperation. The agricultural and livestock delegation led by Tan Qiiong, Chairman of the Qinghai Provincial Revolutionary Committee, returned this week from a visit to Australia.

It was clear that there was scope for cooperation between China and Australia over wide fields of agricultural development including pasture and livestock development and dry land farming.

The Minister said that exchanges of scientists and of information between the Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and their Chinese counterparts had also begun and offered scope for substantial expansion.

He added that there were increasing exchanges in the field of medicine.

The Minister concluded by saying that he was confident that this agreement would lead to an increasing range of scientific and technological exchanges between the agencies and institutions of Australia and China, resulting in substantial mutual benefit.