China National Committee for Terminology in Science and Technology (CNTERM, originally China National Committee for Terms in Natural Sciences) was established in 1985 upon the approval of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. It is the organization authorized by the State Council to examine, approve and promulgate the scientific and technological terms on behalf of the Chinese government. The State Council prescribed in 1987 that the scientific and technological terms examined and approved by CNTERM are authoritative and have a binding force in China. They should be observed and used by all organizations including scientific research units and educational institutions, production and administration sectors, news and publishing circles, etc. In order to implement the instructions of the State Council, four departments including the State Science and Technology Commission, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Education Commission and National Press and Publication Administration issued a joint statement in 1990. The statement puts forward three clear requirements: firstly, news agencies should publicize the importance of the unification of terms through various news media and take the lead to use the promulgated terms; secondly, each publishing organization should use the promulgated terms in their publications and literature, especially in their reference books. The usage of the promulgated terms will be one of the methods to evaluate the quality of books; thirdly, any kind of teaching materials to be edited and published in the future should use the promulgated terms. The release of these notifications has effectively promoted the popularization and application of the standard terms.
CNTERM is responsible for following affairs:
Formulating principles, policies, plans and programs about the work for scientific and technological terms in China;
Organizing the work of examination, approval, promulgation, coordination and promotion of scientific and technological terms on behalf of the Chinese government;
Developing the exchanges, coordination and unification of scientific and technological terms used in Mainland and Taiwan of China and other Chinese-speaking regions; and
Organizing domestic and international academic communication in the field of scientific and technological terminology.
The work policy of CNTERM is relying on experts, appraising terms scientifically, and actively promoting scientific and technological innovation to accelerate economic and social development.
Academicians Qian Sanqiang, Lu Jiaxi, Lu Yongxiang and Bai Chunli had served as the chairman of CNTERM. Vice chairman and standing committee of CNTERM are experts and directors from the following departments including the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Education, State Administration for Market Regulation, Chinese Association for Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Academy of Military Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Language Working Committee. In addition, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly invited more than 140 famous scholars and experts in various fields to serve as committee members of CNTERM.
The General Office of CNTERM is its administrative body whose main task is to execute the resolutions of CNTERM, organize and carry out its program, examine and approve the terms and edit and publish them, to arrange and coordinate the work of various subcommittees, to edit and publish scientific and technological terms and publications, to promote domestic and international academic exchanges, to organize academic exchanges, promote scientific and technological term unification work in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, to carry out the standardization and promotion work of scientific and technological terms, to popularize science and handle daily affairs.
Since the establishment, CNTERM has always been highly valued by CPC and the country. Li Peng, Wan Li, Fang Yi, Zhang Jinfu, Qian Xuesen, Qian Weichang, Lu Jiaxi, Zhou Guangzhao, Song Jian, Xu Jialu, Lu Yongxiang and other national leaders not only gave instructions, delivered their congratulatory letters and inscriptions, but also offered guidance to CNTERM in related meetings several times. Yan Jici, Wu Jieping, Qian Weichang, Zhu Guangya, Song Jian, Xu Jialu, Han Qide and other scientists of the older generation have been serving as specially invited consultants to guide the work of CNTERM, which greatly encouraged experts and scholars to participate in the standardization activities of science and technological terms.
As of October 2021, CNTERM has established 133 terminology review committees in various fields of science and technology and has reviewed and published normative terms in more than 140 fields including astronomy, physics, biochemistry, electronics, agronomy, medicine, linguistics and education. These normative terms cover basic sciences, engineering and technical sciences, agricultural sciences, medicine, humanities and social sciences, military sciences and so on.
CNTERM has established Termonline, an authoritative terminology knowledge and service platform, which provides free web-based scientific and technological terminology query services to the society. Users of Termonline come from over 150 countries and regions. CNTERM developed diversified knowledge services featuring terminology mapping, terminology annotation and proofreading. And Termonline has become the world’s most comprehensive Chinese terminology platform with complete data, highest data quality and the most complete functions. Based on it, the Daily Scientific and Technological Term column was opened through Xuexi to popularize standardized scientific and technological terms for CPC members and the whole society. With the support of the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, CNTERM continued to carry out further education and training for professional and technical personnel in press and publication circles and promoted the standardization of scientific and technological terms in publications. Furthermore, CNTERM actively supports the standardization of scientific and technological terms in ethnic areas.
CNTERM also actively and steadily promote cross-strait scientific and technological terminology exchange and unification. CNTERM has published cross-strait scientific and technological term-lists in nearly 30 disciplines. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, based on years of cross-strait exchanges and comparisons, CNTERM have completed the 10-volume Chinese Dictionary of Science and Technology, which, consisting of 550,000 terms, was compiled by Academician Lu Yongxiang as the honorary editor-in-chief, Academician Bai Chunli as the editor-in-chief and experts from both sides of the strait, Cross-Strait Science and Technology Common Dictionary, Cross-Strait Science and Technology Vocabulary for Primary and Secondary School Students and Handbook of Differences in Scientific and Technological Terms across the Strait, etc. All these works have greatly promoted cross-strait exchange and cooperation in science, education and culture.
CNTERM actively organizes theoretical research and promotes the construction of terminology as a discipline with Chinese characteristics. CNTERM has published Chinese Terminology Construction Book Series and China Scientific and Technological Term Standardization Theory Construction Book Series to cultivate and expand theoretical research teams. CNTERM also holds regular international and domestic academic seminars and established close relationship with major domestic and foreign terminology organizations and experts.
During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, CNTERM will follow Xi Jinping’s Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era to grasp the new development opportunity, implement the new development concept and build a new development pattern. In accordance with the strategic direction of "facing the frontiers of world science and technology, facing the main economic battlefield, facing the major needs of the country and attach great importance to people's life and health", CNTERM will forge ahead with its large number of experts and scholars to further achieve high-quality development concerning the course of standardization of scientific and technological terms.