Chinese leaders call for more international scientific cooperation

26-Oct-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Chinese leaders have said they want to boost scientific cooperation with other nations.

On Thursday Premier Li Keqiang addressed an innovation forum in Shanghai via video link, saying that China will increase its “engagement in the global innovation network” and promote international exchanges.

He said: “China upholds opening up and is committed to promoting international scientific and technological cooperation to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.”

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Wang Zhigang, the minister of science and technology, told the same event that China wanted to create a global ecosystem which is “open, coordinated and inclusive”.

He said the country’s Belt and Road Initiative, a transcontinental infrastructure project, would be used to push for more scientific cooperation and Beijing will work to develop a global disease prevention network to strengthen the world’s ability to tackle public health crises.

“Facing the tides of a new technological revolution and industrial revolution, facing the challenges of global issues, we urgently need global scientific researchers to strengthen science and research exchanges and cooperation, and governments urgently need to step up joint governance on innovation,” Wang added.

Last year China set up a scholarship programme for students from Southeast Asia.

Foreign vice-minister Luo Zhaohui said on Tuesday that more than 100,000 students from the region had gone to study in China last year and Beijing will continue to use the China-Asean Fund to carry out more cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Beijing also held a tech dialogue with 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries last month to explore cooperation on coronavirus research and post-pandemic scientific cooperation.

“Facing the future, China’s will to promote opening up and cooperation on science and technology will only grow stronger,” Wang told a press conference on Tuesday.

China aims to become a technological powerhouse by the middle of the century, investing heavily in key manufacturing sectors to reduce its reliance on foreign technology and develop areas such as green technology, fintech and space.

But heightened tensions with the US have hit academic exchanges and resulted in more restrictions on Chinese technology and companies.

On Thursday US defence secretary Mark Esper warned his Nato counterparts not to rely on Chinese technology when building critical infrastructure and accused Beijing of trying to undermine the international order.


Category: China

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