Donald R. RILEY

The Chinese-American Networking Symposium (CANS) is held annually as a forum for leaders in networking and applications research and development. It offers a forum in which to exchange information and to promote partnerships between Chinese and U.S. institutions, both from the private and public sector. The theme of the 2008 meeting encapsulates the symposium’s goals: “One world, one network.”

Participants of the Chinese-American Networking Symposium (CANS), an annual networking forum, include faculty, students and professional staff from leading universities and research centers, government agencies, and the private sector from both the United States and China. CANS sessions are designed to promote exchange of information and experience, provide an interactive format to discuss new ideas in networking technologies and research applications, and to promote collaborative partnerships in network research in and across scientific and academic disciplines. Alternating yearly between U.S. and Chinese venues, the symposium includes presentations by networking experts and disciplinary researchers, panel discussions, and parallel technical and non-technical (executive) sessions.

The Chinese-American Networking Symposium was initiated in 1998 by Donald R. Riley, of the University of Maryland College Park, and Xiao Shuigen, of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology, USA (CAST-USA), in partnership with the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) and the China Science and Technology Network (CSTNET, Chinese Academy of Sciences). The first symposium was held in Washington, D.C., in January 1999 with more than fifty executives, network industry leaders, and officials from China, and more than sixty participants from the United States. Chinese attendees represented the education and research community and the major Internet service providers in China: CERNET, CSTNET, China Commercial Network (ChinaNet), and representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information Industries, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and some local Chinese governments.

Technical topics have focused on the traditional advanced networking research and infrastructure-development issues that have been integral to CANS and remain important but have evolved to include higher-level subjects: infrastructure development and especially Open International Exchange Points (a network hub facility to which any international research and engineering [R&E] network may connect and also interconnect to other international R&E networks to exchange network traffic); the complexities of international network interoperability and routing issues; Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) development; middleware (computer software that connects software components and deals with network interface and security issues); technical aspects of grids; and e-science and research collaboration support. Each CANS symposium also offers cultural experiences for the attendees.

Today CANS is sponsored by Internet2 (a nonprofit consortium that develops advanced network technologies for research and education in the U.S.), CERNET, CSTNET, and CAST-USA. The CANS Council and Organizing Committee sets the direction and oversees the planning of each CANS meeting. The CANS Council includes co-founder Riley, as well as representatives of the four sponsors, plus a representative from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

CANS highlights have included:

▪ Signing of the international collaboration agreement between Internet2, CERNET, CSTNET, and NSFCNET (Natural Science Foundation of China Network).

▪ Collaboration of CSTNET with the University of Tennessee on the Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development (GLORIAD) project funded under the National Science Foundation International Research Network Connections (NSF IRNC) program. GLORIAD is a multi-gigabit-per-second global ring that initially connected the United States, Korea, China, and Russia and then NORDUNET (a collaboration between Nordic national R&E networks) and SURFNET (Samenwerkende Universitaire Reken Faciliteiten, the Dutch national R&E network).

▪ Collaboration of CERNET with Indiana University and Internet2 on the TRANSPAC2 project funded under the NSF IRNC program. TRANSPAC2 provides multi-gigabit-per-second connectivity from the United States to CERNET and members of the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN).

Such interoperable high-performance network connections enable many scientific and educational collaborations between the United States and China. And CANS has played an important role as a neutral forum for initiating and strengthening the human interactions and cultural exchanges needed for scientific, educational and technical collaborations.

Further Reading

Chinese-American Network Symposium. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2009, from,

China Science and Technology Network. (n. d.). Retreived February 20, 2009, from,

China Science and Technology Association in the United States (Chinese Association for Science and Technology). (2004). Retrieved February 20, 2009 from

IRNC. (2008, July 30). International Research Network Connections. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from

Global Lambda Integrated Facility. (2008, April 27). Retrieved February 20, 2009, from

Source: Riley, Donald R.. (2009). Chinese-American Networking Symposium. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 373–374. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.

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