Guanhua Xu is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the International Academy of Astronautics. Formerly, he served as the Vice President of CAS between 1994 and 1995, and the Vice Minister (1995 – 2001) and the Minister (2001 – 2007) of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in China. He has been the Chair for the Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sports of the CPPCC (political advisory body to the Chinese government) since March 2008.
Professor Xu is an expert in the field of remote sensing research. In the 1980s, he initiated China’s regulation in remote sensing investigation of renewable resources and standards in series mapping, and provided scientific evidence for strengthening the ecological construction and stipulating afforestation plans for the future of northern China.
As a member of the MA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) Board, Professor Xu supervised the implementation of the sub-global assessment, and provided scientific leadership to the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of Western China (MAWEC) as one component of the MA from 2001 to 2005. As Chairman of the Committee of Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), he led and chaired the 18th CEOS Plenary & 20th Anniversary successfully in Beijing in 2004. Professor Xu also played a key role in establishing the Group of Earth Observation (GEO) and its 10 year implementation plan.
Since Professor Xu left his post of MOST in 2007, he has focused his attention on global change studies. He formulated the National Key Scientific Research Program on Global Change that would sustain an unprecedented amount of long-term stable funding; and founded cross-disciplinary research institutes on global change studies in national universities.
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China