China in Africa


“CropWatch” team of CAS Aerospace Information Research Institute publishes bulletin on global crop conditions

Based on Big Earth Data, the report was put together by an international team with 48 analysts from 11 countries, coordinated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and issued on Feb. 29.

Crop conditions between October 2019 and January 2020 suffered from extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall and floods in many parts of Africa, and the severe outbreak of desert locust expanding from the Arabian Peninsula into western Asia, East Africa to South-Asia. 

According to the report, the impact of the desert locust on cereal production in Horn of Africa and South-Asia is yet limited, while they have damaged rangeland and orchards and threated the livestock over those regions, e. g., 

pastures in Somalia were damaged by desert locusts. If locusts should further spread to southern directions, they will threat maize production during the short rainy season.

CAS news releae, March 6, 2020

Kenya inaugurates 50 MW solar power farm in Garissa

One of the largest solar farms it Africa, it was designed and built, within one year, by China Jiangxi Corporation for China’s International Economic and Technical Co-operation (CJIC). The annual output is 100,000 MWH and meets the power demand of 70,000 households...

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China launches microsatellite for Ethiopia

The wide-range multispectral remote-sensing microsatellite donated to Ethiopia was sent into space together with eight other satellites. Weighing about 65 kg and having a design life of two years, the satellite can obtain remote-sensing data for agriculture, forestry,...

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China deepens bilateral aviation cooperation with Zimbabwe

According to official sources, the Chinese government has financed more than 4,900 Zimbabwean officers and specialists to attend seminars and training courses in China From the 1990s to the present, the Chinese government has financed more than 4,900 Zimbabwean...

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Chinese companies start 5G technology trial in Uganda

ZTE and MTN Uganda have carried out a 5G technology trial in Kampala, Uganda's capital, on January 17, in the presence of Uganda's Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. According to Uganda government sources, the country might become the first in East Africa to have a...

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Cybersecurity in China improves, but slowly

Acording to a talk at Beijing Cyber Security Conference, around 48.5 percent of China's government agencies and 56.3 percent centrally-administered state-owned enterprises have deployed security operation centers, and the response time to security events has been...

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China promotes the development of fuel cell cars

After a visit of China's Prime Minister LI Keqiang to Japan, the development of hydrogen-based fuel cell cars in China gains momentum. The official development plan now provides for 50,000 vehicles by 2025, and car manufacturers such as BAIC, SAIC, Great Wall Motors...

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Overview of last view Blogs

Chinese-French oceanographic CFOSat satellite put into service

After 8 month in-orbit-testing, the oceanography satellite co-developed by China and France and launched in October 2018 was now put into service. The satellite acquires high-accuracy remote sensing data with its scatterometer and wave spectrometer, and can conduct high-resolution observations of ocean surface wind fields, which have been applied in monitoring typhoons, hurricanes, and the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. The observation data will play an important role in global marine environment monitoring, disaster prevention and tackling climate change.

Xinhua news release, February 21, 2020

CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics converts biomass fatty acids to long-chain alanes under mild conditions

Researchers around WANG Feng from the Bioenergy Chemicals Research Group have developed a photocatalytic decarboxylation procedure to convert long-chain fatty acids to alkanes under mild conditions. They used low-value long-chain fatty acids from a bio-oil refining process and paper industry production. Through catalytic deoxygenation, long-chain alkanes where obtained, which were used to produce diesel and aviation kerosene. At room temperature, low hydrogen pressure (≤0.2 MPa) and UV light, the yield was > 90%.

CAS news release, February 20, 2020

© CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics

CAS QIBEBT develops perovskite oxide-based porous membrane for solar-driven evaporation and regeneration

Biological pollutants such as algae, or organic pollutants cause pollution of photothermal films in solar-driven water evaporation. They can be removed by high-temperature degradation, resulting in considerable energy consumption. The group around JIANG Heqing at CAS Qingdao Institute of Bio-Energy and Environmental Biotechnology (QIBEBT) has used the catalytic and photothermal properties of cobalt-based perovskite for a multifunctional perovskite oxide porous membrane. In tests using algae and melamine as pollutants, the La0.7Sr0.3CoO3 (LSCO) porous membrane significantly reduced the combustion decomposition temperature of the pollutants attached to it, reducing the energy consumption of the porous membrane during the combustion process. Performance could be almost completely restored after multiple membrane regeneration cycles. 

CAS news release, February 19, 2020

© CAS QIBEBT, Qingdao

Chinese specialists explore potential of TCM drugs in treatment of Coronavirus infections

According to a press conference of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, China’s think-tank, on February 18, in-vitro experiments with 54 TCM pharmaceuticals and related drugs at a Guangzhou Hospital have shown that 5 among these drugs suppressed Coronavirus infections and had anti-inflammatory effects. They are hoped to complement treatment by Western medicine, at least for mild cases of infection.

Japan JST China news, February 19, 2020

Team at CAS China’s University of Science and Technology develops “Raman picoscopy”

HOU Jianguo and colleagues have improved low-temperature (liquid helium) ultra-high vacuum tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to fine-tuned the localized plasmon field at the tip height to a spatial resolution to 1.5 Angstroms of single chemical bonds. In space, a complete spatial imaging pattern of various intrinsic vibration modes of a molecule was obtained. The scientists propose “scanning Raman picoscopy” as a new method for visually constructing molecular structures based by molecular imaging patterns at Angstrom resolution.

CAS news release, February 13, 2020

Pangolins a probable intermediate host of Corona virus: South China Agricultural University

According to LIU Yahong, president of the university, a research team analyzed more than 1,000 metagenome samples of wild animals and found pangolins as the most likely intermediate host. Sequence analysis of coronavirus strains assembled from metagenomes revealed that Betacoronavirus occurred in 70% of the pangolins analyzed, and the sequence was 99 percent identical to that of infected people in the recent coronavirus outbreak. The virus structure obtained by electron microscopy was also very similar.

Xinhua news release, February 7, 2020

Huangpu tests temperature-measuring patrol robot

A patrol robot for temperature measurement using 5G network is being deployed in Huangpu District, Guangzhou (Guangdong Province). The robot records where it has moved, and if it finds a person whose body temperature is above a set point or has no mask, it sounds an alarm. The robot performs on a panorama view with no blind spot.

People Daily online, February 7, 2020

© People’s Daily

Evolutionary aspects of the novel coronavirus in China

In an open paper published by Oxford Press’ National Science Review, WEI Xiaoman, LI Xiang and CUI Jie from the CAS Institut Pasteur and CAS Wuhan Institute of Virology draw the following conclusions, based on next-generation sequencing:

“The novel coronaviruses 2019-nCoV in Wuhan likely had a bat origin, but how the human-infecting viruses evolved from bats requires further study. The human-infecting virus may become more infectious but less virulent as it continues to (co-)evolve and adapt to human hosts. Since Wuhan is one of the largest inland transportation hubs in China and the city has been closed off, it is urgently necessary to step up molecular surveillance and restrict the movement of people in and out of the affected areas promptly, in addition to closing the seafood markets.”

© CUI Jie et al., 2020

CAS Institute of Microbiology launches national service system for new coronavirus typing

The service provides information on the first new virus strain isolated in China by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, electron micrographs, novel nucleic acid detection primers and probe sequences. It integrates global coronavirus genes and genomic big data, and helps to establish a global coronavirus data platform.

Voice broadcast, CAS Institute of Microbiology

Nanjing University reports successful quantum entanglement delivery from a drone

According to a press release of Nanjing University, entangled photons could be fired from a drone at points A and B 100 meters away when reaching an altitude of several tens of meters. The photons met interference from atmospheric turbulence, rainwater, sunlight, etc., but still reached the ground almost unchanged.

Japan JST China news, January 23, 2020

Ministry of Agriculture intends to implement digital agriculture plan by 2025

The plan will build a digital resource system with five types of data: 

  • agricultural natural resources
  • important agricultural varieties resources
  • rural collective assets
  • rural housing bases, farmers and new farmers, and 
  • digital agriculture

It is designed to promote computerization of cultivation industry, smarter livestock industry, smarter fisheries, digitalization of seed industry, diversification of new business types, and a comprehensive process of quality and safety management, and increase the production capacity of digitalization of agriculture.

Japan JST China news, January 23, 2020

CAS President announces 1.5 billion US$ investments for new facilities and major equipment

During a meeting on January 18, 2020, CAS president BAI Chunli announced that the CAS plans for the world’s largest high-energy synchrotron in Beijing’s Huairou district. With other major equipment and 11 new scientific and educational facilities in the park, total investment will sum up to 10.4 billion CN¥ or 1.5 billion US$. The academy will also build new labs in Shanghai, in Hefei (Anhui province), the Xiongan New Area (Hebei province) and in the Greater Bay Area connecting Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao.

By the end of last year, the academy had launched 58 pilot projects in fields such as space technology, green industry and regenerative medicine

The CAS has also launched a new version of its cloud database and opened it for researchers around the world, including cloud calculation, data search and storage, analytical software and community networking.The network includes scientific data on energy, oceanography, biosciences, health and other frontier fields.

CAS news release, January 24, 2020

China has established 121,000 hydrological observation points for flood countermeasures, many for quality control

According to a press conference of the Ministry of Water Affairs, China has now established a network of hydrological observatories of its large rivers and their major tributaries, for flood countermeasures and water quality control. Observation points now number 121,000, with 3,154 stations, 14,286 surface water quality stations and 26,550 groundwater quality stations.

Japan JST China news January 21, 2020

Photosynthetic capacity at night makes “mile-a-minute” weed a particularily harmful invasive plant

Mikania micrantha, dubbed “mile-a-minute” weed, is one of the top 100 worst invasive species and one of the most harmful invasive plants, also in south China. WAN Fanghao, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and colleagues have prepared a 1.79 Gb reference chromosome map and have shown that half of the genome is composed of long terminal repeat retrotransposons, including a whole genome duplication event. Mikania micrantha achieves higher photosynthetic capacity by CO2 absorption at night to supplement its carbon fixation during the day, as well as enhanced stem photosynthesis efficiency. Furthermore, the metabolites of the plant can increase the availability of nitrogen by enriching microbes that participate in nitrogen cycling pathways.

Nature Communication

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