Ever since its establishment, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has continuously stressed on the importance of international (regional) cooperation and exchange. As an integral part of NSFC's work, international cooperation and exchange aims at promoting basic research and the progress of science funding system in China. To this end, NSFC strives to create a favorable environment regarding cooperative channels, funding and operational mechanism so as to facilitate the participation of Chinese scientists in the international cooperation and exchange. Up to now, it has signed cooperative agreements and memoranda of understanding with 60 science funding organizations and national research institutions in 35 countries and regions and raised its budget for international cooperation and exchange from 3 million yuan in 1987 to 82 million yuan at present. It has gradually formed a rather complete funding scenario which includes four project categories and three special funds: joint research projects, international (regional) academic conferences held abroad, international academic conferences held in China, major joint research projects, fund for Chinese scholars abroad returning for short-period of work or lecture (including "two bases" projects), joint fund between NSFC and the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong and fund for international cooperation and exchange of State key laboratories.
In the future, NSFC will continue to focus its international cooperation and exchange on the major tasks of science funding, strive to further promote the funding for "research projects" and "talent training" by taking promoting fountainhead innovation as its guideline, and implement the strategic plan of creating a favorable environment for Chinese scientists to participate in international (regional) cooperation and exchange in an attempt to advance with times and obtain more productive and fruitful achievements in international cooperation.