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It is Chinese goal to quadruple national wealth by the year 2000, limiting the increase in energy consumption to twice the current amount. This ambitious challenge, commensurate with the country's vast energy potential, was one of the important points confirmed by the Chinese authorities to Mr Nicolas Mosar, Member of the Commission responsible for energy, during an official visit to China from which he has just returned. In the course of their discussions, Mr Song Jian, President of the State Commission for Science and Technology, repeatedly drew Mr Mosar's attention to what China regard as the lay role of energy cooperation with the European Comunity and its "pilot" function for certain bilateral cooperation operations with Community countries. This cooperation is also an important element in the technological exploitation of the energy sector of benefit to both China and Europe. In order to meet this challenge which, in terms of energy output, would match the results achieved by the European Community since the first oil crisis, the Chinese authorities are relying not only on a more effective exploitation of their energy potential, but also on continuing the cooperation with the European Community which started in 1980. The work carried out jointly by experts from the Community and the People's Republic of China has already produced very tangible results, especially in the campaign to save energy. China's enormous energy potential China possesses the world's largest potential hydro-electric reserves of which only 5 % are currently exploited and the second largest potential cost stocks after the USSR. Moreover, despite China's spectacular rise, from being the world's 13th largest crude oil producer in 1973 to sixth place in 1986 than increase in output from 53 million tonnes to 129.6 million tonnes with putting it close behind the Twelve with 143.7 million tonnes and Mexico with 140 milion tonnes, the country's vast oil and natural gas reserves remain largely unexploited. Greater exploitation China's vast energy potential would be good for the world energy market, helping to reduce tensions in the medium and long term. - 2 - "Soft" sources of energy : a reality in China This short assessment of China's energy potential would be incomplete without reference to "soft" or alternative sources of energy - wind energy, solar energy, bio-gas energy produced from straw - used a fairly wide scale in rural areas of China where 80 % of the population lives. These sources of energy meet about 25 to 30 % of China's current energy requirements and their development will continue according to what Mr Mosar was told. Leading role of coal In order to meet the challenges they have set themselves the Chinese authorities indicated to Mr Mosar that the future energy policy of the People's Republic will have to include the following points : - increased and coal production and consumption, allowing exports of coal, oil and natural gas, - an increase in electricity production, including nuclear energy (the first nuclear power station, near Shangai, is planned for 1989 and two others, in Canton and Shangai again for the turn of the century), - interconnection of six large regional electricity grids, - progressively bringing energy prices into line with actual costs, - more efficient use of energy by means of analytical assessments and energy forecasts based on up-to-date information planning, - training of officials needed to achieve these objectives. Cooperatin with the European Community : tangible achievements In order to achieve its ambitious goals, China - as was again confirmed during Mr Mosar's visit - is relying in particular on cooperation with the Twelve. Since the beginning of the 1980', China has "played the European card" : opening up of China to the outside world has been characterized by reliance on the European Community in fields such as energy policy and analytical techniques, training of officials and the move to nuclear energy. Energy cooperation with the Community goes back to 1981 when a first protocol was signed, covering the development of energy sources (coal and electricity) and especially the development of analytical techniques and training officials. This cooperation has grown spectacularly with the following tangible results : - 3 - - more than 2 200 Chinese managerial staff have been trained at four joint EEC/China centres in Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing and Guangzhou : three new trainig centres have just been openen and will train over 600 people a year, - trained officials have carried out sometimes fundamental reorganization of energy use in their companies, with very positive results ; savings in excess of 20 % of the "energy bill" have been record in various sectors, - "energy plans" have been drawn up for various Chinese provinces and an energy data bank has been established for the country as a whole, - - two "energy buses" equipped by the Community and with European- trained staff are touring firms to help them use energy more efficiently. 1987 - Environment and nuclear safety : China relies on European expertise For this year onwards energy cooperation with China will take a new dimension : for the first time, as confirmed in a memorandum signed by Mr Mosar and Mr Ruan Chongwu, Vice-Chairman of the State Commission for Science and Technology, the Energy planning techniques developed by European experts will be extended from the study currently under way in the Beijing area to the analysis of energy flows for the entire People's Republic and to energy forecasting for China for the year 2030, while China will also partipate in the analysis of world energy needs for the periods 1990/95/2000/2005 via the network set up by the European Community. During his visit to Beijing, Mr Mosar opened the EEC/China training centre for nuclear safety inspectors for which the Chinese authorities submitted the formal request 11 months during Mr Delors' official visit to China. An important operation is being prepared in the Sanghai region involving advising and training Chinese experts with a view to achieving significant energy savings in some 5 000 factories in the region. Finally, there is a new feature in EEC/China energy cooperation : the Chinese authorities and the Community plan to carry out training programmes, exchanges of experts and research with the aim of reducing energy-based pollution. Atmospheric pollution is an increasing problem in major Chinese cities. There is acid rain in several regions, and any increase in the number of cars in China because of the lead content of the petrol would cause serious environmental problems.