Human race is striding forward to a great epoch, in which the progress of society will depend more
and more on scientific and technical innovation.
Among all such innovative activities, the innovation of mathematical knowledge is fundamental.
"Each natural science", as pointed out by German philosopher E. Kant, "becomes real science only
to the extent that permits the application of mathematics."
In the past century, the application of mathematics experienced unprecedented and most exciting
development. The highly abstract languages, structures, methods and theories created by core
mathematics were time and again proven to be universal instruments applicable to other fields of
science and technology and to productive and social practices. This truthfully reflects the marvellous
and close relations between mathematical theories and the objective world.
In view of these facts, the Chinese Government has been persistent in supporting all programs
for advancing the development of mathematics, either pure or applied, and will continue to
do so in the future. We are therefore especially delighted to see that the ICM2002, the gathering
of world's mathematicians, will be held in Beijing. We will work together with the local host to ensure
the success of the ICM2002.
Professor and Minister of Science and Technology