Young scientists from the mainland will join up with their American counterparts in August at a scientific symposium in the United States, China's top scientific institute announced yesterday. Xu Zhihong, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said 60 scientists would be chosen from across the country to take part in the Symposium on Sciences at the Frontier, the first of its kind between China and the US. Mr Xu said the scientists would discuss topics such as space exploration, technology used to reduce natural disasters and protect water resources, and the world's climates. An annual symposium would be held alternately in the US and China, Xinhua reported. Mr Xu said although debate and competition were encouraged among scientists in the West to spur creativity and advance new ideas, they were not popular among Chinese scientists. He hoped that, through the exchanges with American scientists, the mainlanders could improve their working styles and strengthen co-operation. Scientists have warned that China faces a succession problem as many young scientists have left for the West, which offers them better research facilities and support.