China plans to build a new university of science and technology amid US assault on Chinese tech
Published: Aug 11, 2020 10:55 PM

A visitor looks at a section of Jiao Tong University Station on Line 11 in Shanghai that was decorated in honor of Qian Xuesen (1911-2009). File Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Hunan Province in Central China unveiled a plan to construct a new university of science and technology amid the on-going China-US tech war, according to a three-year plan published on the website of Hunan provincial government. 

The new science and technology university is expected to be named after well-known Chinese scientist Qian Xuesen (1911-2009), who played a key role in China's missile and space program. 

To support the development of higher education in the region, the province is set to promote the construction of the university in Liuyang city, the plan states.

Plans for the university have not yet been finalized, an official from the provincial educational department told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Qian Xuesen is known as the "Father of Chinese Rocketry" and was a member of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Chinese netizens have shown overwhelming supports for the new university, saying "Qian Xuesen's spirit could encourage the current young Chinese generation to overcome challenges posed by the US."

Qian graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1934. In 1935, he studied aviation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later studied aviation engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

The plan to construct a new university of science and technology comes amid the on-going China-US tech war and US' crackdown on Chinese tech companies and talents.

"China needs top science and technology universities badly as US tightens restrictions on Chinese students and researchers," Zhao Qizheng, former director of China's State Council Information Office and once a nuclear physicist, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Zhao was one of the first students to major in nuclear physics at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).

USTC was established in 1958 when China's national defense sciences and technologies were extremely short of talents against a backdrop of soured relations between China and the former Soviet Union with Soviet experts pulling out of China, Zhao recalled.

"Although it took us a few years to nurture talents on our own at that time, we resolutely did so. The current US' crackdown on China's tech talents could also promote China's self-reliance," Zhao said, adding that China needs a top university of science and technology that demands great professors, excellent students, top level teaching and research concepts and sufficient financial support.