CANBERRA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Australia's science relationship with China is not opportunistic but productive, Chief Scientist of Australia Professor Ian Chubb said on Wednesday.
Delivering a speech at the Australian National University, Chubb said China has been increasingly important to Australia, being "the most significant education partner and a growing research partner."
While the two countries have been enjoying diplomatic relations for 40 years, the scientific relations began more than a decade earlier when Professor Wilbur "Chris" Christiansen, a radio astronomer at the University of Sydney, visited China in 1963 as a guest of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"Australia and China now share a strong and highly productive relationship in science that has been built over more than 50 years," he said.
"It (the relationship) has prospered because each of us brings, and has brought, scientific capacity of quality, and a need, to the relationship, based on quite different intellectual traditions that come together in exciting ways to create new knowledge."
Chubb also noted that China and Australia have become prolific partners in scientific publications, with a wide range of institutions involved and the full spectrum of the sciences.
China is moving up the global ladder in terms of the number of research publications, overtaking the United Kingdom as the second- ranked country in scientific publication output. Australian papers co-authored with Chinese colleagues have risen from 4 percent in 1996 to 14 percent in 2009.
The professor said both Australia and China have concerns on issues like adapting to changing climate conditions, meeting the healthcare needs of aging populations, the environment, energy and food security and therefore attach research priorities on these issues.
He also anticipated that the Chinese students who have studied in Australia will become a great force in promoting bilateral scientific collaboration in the future.