The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has provided over 1.8 billion yuan (about $268 million) for construction of science and technology projects in association with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2013, said CAS President Bai Chunli on April 19.

Bai made the remarks at a press conference on science and technology cooperation between China and countries participating in the BRI.

The Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), consisting of scientific research organizations from BRI participating countries and international organizations, was launched in November under the framework of the BRI. According to Bai, ANSO members recently clarified its vision and mission, pledging to make it an international organization with great influence in promoting, organizing and carrying out sci-tech innovation.

The first 37 ANSO members have discussed and worked out the ANSO Action Plan for 2019-2020. It plans to set up awards, scholarships, industry associations and joint training projects in order to build a great mechanism and platform for sci-tech cooperation, meet common challenges and promote sustainable development.

Meanwhile, CAS has trained nearly 5,000 high-level sci-tech talents for countries and regions participating in the BRI, including more than 1,500 people with master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. Many of them have returned to their home countries and become a new force in building the BRI.

Bai said that CAS, based on the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, has built nine overseas science and education centers in BRI countries and regions and a tenth center is currently in the works.

He noted that the overseas centers have become significant platforms to carry out projects of scientific collaboration, and are helping to resolve livelihood issues in those countries and regions.

Bai also said that CAS has initiated more than 100 scientific and technological cooperation projects to support green development in BRI countries and regions. It has also set up a special fund for transferring scientific and technological achievements in those regions.

It has also cooperated with more than 100 high-tech enterprises and research institutions to establish the Belt and Road Industry Alliance to serve regional economic and social development.

Also on April 19, a research report on the Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road was published. The program was launched by CAS in 2018 with a focus on natural resources, ecosystems, climate change, and biodiversity in the region, and it now provides important scientific insights for green and sustainable development.

Yao Tandong, a CAS member and director of the program, said at the press conference that China has gained experience in ecological and environmental protection by tackling such matters as desertification and ecology conservation in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

"We hope these successful experiences can be used in countries participating in the BRI. A group of Chinese scientists has joined the building of an eco-environmental protection park in Kazakhstan as well as a global allium garden in Uzbekistan," Yao said.

Cao Jinghua, director of international cooperation with the academy, said science and technology cooperation has contributed to the improvement of people's lives in countries and regions participating in the BRI.

He cited research on disaster prevention and mitigation of railway construction in Pakistan, more precise weather forecasts for fishermen in Sri Lanka and the joint efforts to develop new medicine in Uzbekistan.

"Our overseas joint laboratories and projects have also greatly improved the research capabilities of those countries," Cao said.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced on April 19 that the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.

Leaders including heads of state and government from 37 countries will attend the forum's roundtable summit.

Source: Xinhua

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