Diplomatic Pouch

Updated: 2012-02-03 14:05

By Mike Peters (China Daily European Weekly)

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A program designed to create "media ambassadors" for China and Germany will award grants for the fifth year to young journalists in both countries, according to the German embassy website.

Chinese candidates must apply to the Robert Bosch Foundation by Feb 12, and successful applicants will be in Germany from June 2 to Aug 30. German candidates have a deadline of April 8, and selected applicants will work and study conditions in China from Sept 15 to Oct 14.

Program sponsors say the steady rise of China as a world power has posed challenges for journalists everywhere, and better mutual understanding is the key to more complete and thoughtful coverage. On-site visits combining work and academic study are planned to reduce "stereotypes and cliched thinking".

The scholarship program for 16 journalists from Germany and China will take the visiting Germans to Tsinghua University in Beijing, while the Chinese journalists will spend time at Hamburg Media School. Both groups will spend time doing hands-on work with the other country's media organizations, in print, radio, television and online journalism.

Last month Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan, visited Shanghai, Wuxi and Guilin for a series of exchanges with the theme Clean Water. Invited by Chinese Minister for Science and Technology Wan Gang, Schavan joined Wan at Tongji University in Shanghai to launch a joint research and innovation program there.

"We want to show the world that more sustainable use of water and energy in rapidly growing regions is possible," Schavan said. "There is no life without water."

Wan said: "Water resources in China are a key challenge that may even be more important than the issue of energy."

Thanks in part to Sino-German cooperation, the German embassy says, in the past 10 years China has built more than 2,500 new, modern sewage treatment plants. German experts helped implement the water-management concept of the Olympic Park in Beijing in 2008, and participated in a jointly presented semi-centralized supply and disposal center at Shanghai Expo 2010.

Danish professor Flemming Besenbacher has received the Award for International Scientific Cooperation by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Danish embassy announced. It is the highest award a foreign researcher can receive in the Chinese academic system and had never been awarded to a Dane.

Besenbacher has played an important role in developing of nano science at Aarhus University in Denmark and has collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences since 1990. The Danish professor, known as Mr Nano, received the prestigious Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010. He is also honorary doctor of at least nine Chinese universities.

The Swedish embassy announced that the boy band Immanu El will begin its Asia tour in Beijing on Feb 10. The five pop musicians will perform in 13 Chinese cities by Feb 26, when Immanu El plays in Taipei before moving on to other parts of Asia.

On another musical front, the Swedish musicians Emanuelle Brandstrom, Martin Berggren and Helena Berggren will perform at TCG Nordica Culture Center in Kunming on Feb 13 during a weeklong visit to Yunnan province.

Embassy and consulate news can be sent to michaelpeters@chinadaily.com.cn