In Aberdare of Kenya, Chinese and Kenyan researchers are monitoring water quality.[Image from People's Daily]
I. Belt-and-Road Initiative promotes economic and technological development in Thailand
(Thailand) Dr. Weerapong Pairsuwan
Joint efforts on the Belt-and-Road Initiative have opened new channels for transfer of Chinese technical outcomes to Thailand, and supported local economic development and technical talent cultivation.
“Thailand and China are close like family members,” they are two nations enjoying a long-lasting friendship. Since China launched the Belt-and-Road Initiative, our cooperation has been enhanced in all fields. In terms of technical innovation, joint efforts on the Belt-and-Road Initiative have opened new channels for the transfer of Chinese technology to Thailand, and supported local economic development and tech talent cultivation.
As a frequent visitor to China, I am much impressed by how well China has been doing in the tech arena. I visited the “Eye of Heaven” in Guizhou, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. It is a symbol of the advanced technical strength of China. I have also been to many tech companies in Shenzhen, amazed by the vibrant high-tech community there. Very recently, I was at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and saw how much China has been investing in technology and how technical outcomes have facilitated people’s lives.
Positive achievements have been made in technical cooperation between Thailand and China in recent years. In 2017, Wuhan University, the Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand, and Burapha University signed a memorandum of understanding on the Princess Sirindhorn Dual-Degree Post-graduate Program on Geo Informatics and Space Technology. Dedicated to cultivating high-level global-oriented research talents for Thailand and Southeast Asia, the program has been admitting students since 2018.
In December 2017, the CAS Innovation Cooperation Center in Bangkok was inaugurated. The Thai side views highly the cooperation with the Chinese government on high-tech innovation. Her Royal Highness Princess MahaChakri Sirindhorn has visited CAS many times to promote Thailand-China cooperation and exchanges on microbial technology, rail transportation, plasma technology, and geographic information technology. The CAS Bangkok Center has facilitated tech sharing between our two nations, as its foundation was considered as the beginning of a new chapter of cooperation under the Belt-and-Road Initiative.
In the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand became a co-sponsor of the Belt and Road International Science Organization Alliance. Thailand’s technical cooperation with China will be centered on joint labs, tech zones, and technology transfer. The forum will contribute to wider technical cooperation between our two nations and help Thailand and other nations secure a great future.
(Based on an interview with the permanent secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand by Lin Rui from People's Daily)
II. African-Chinese science cooperation meets visions and goals of Belt-and-Road Initiative
(Kenya) Robert Gituru
A bird’s eye view of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Through joint development of the Belt-and-Road Initiative, China has offered practical and feasible solutions to some of the most pressing issues faced by Africa and even the world. The African countries look forward to China’s sharing of technical outcomes, and more development opportunities enabled by the technology transfer.
In 1999, awarded with a scholarship by the Chinese government, I was enrolled in a doctoral program with College of Life Sciences at Wuhan University. During the three-year program, I worked closely with the Chinese researchers, and we became very good friends. I was much impressed by the selflessness, punctuality, respect for dignity, and strong sense of responsibility of my Chinese colleagues. The research group I worked for in China has discovered new plant species both in Kenya and China.
In 2013, the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre was launched at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. As one of the founding members, I have been a witness to the growth momentum brought by research cooperation. It is to our delight that close to 150 young researchers who have worked on our projects have been awarded with full CAS scholarships, just like I was two decades ago. This is how the African-Chinese friendship passes down to younger generations of researchers.
In November 2018, I was invited to the founding ceremony of the Belt and Road International Science Organization Alliance, which is a milestone in China’s research collaboration with Africa and the rest of the world. Under the Belt-and-Road framework, remarkable achievements have been made in bio-diversity reservation and utilization, epidemic control, and disaster management and warning.
In addition to educational efforts, the Chinese researchers have helped households in resource-poor rural areas to increase income. In Makueni, a drought area in eastern Kenya, they used extracts from salvadora persica, also called the “Toothbrush Tree”, and developed a new tooth paste product. With the launch of the product, locals have been engaged in larger plantations and gained higher income.
Our cooperation has helped eliminate disease and poverty and promoted growth on the African continent. Through joint development of the Belt-and-Road Initiative, China has offered practical and feasible solutions to some of the most pressing issues faced by Africa and even the world. Successful closing of the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation has contributed to formation of new models of win-win cooperation under the initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the forum that China will continue to implement the Belt-and-Road action plan on technical innovation, and work with relevant parties on the four main measures of technical and cultural exchanges, joint labs, tech zone cooperation, and technology transfer. We have been much inspired by this statement. The African nations look forward to China’s tech sharing and more growth opportunities that come with it.
Now, I am working with some Chinese researchers, who have travelled far to help us in Africa, for science and technology development in China and Africa. The African-Chinese research cooperation meets the visions and goals under the Belt-and-Road Initiative, which is to work collectively for a great future shared by mankind.
(Based on an interview with the director on the African side of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center by Lv Qiang from People's Daily)
III. Chilean-Chinese Cooperation in Astronomy Embodies Silk Road Spirit
(Chile) Guido Garay
Cooperation between the Chilean and Chinese astronomers across the southern and northern hemispheres shows close partnership between the two nations in astronomy-related areas. The cooperation embodies the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit at its core.
In early March, the Chilean-Chinese free-trade upgrade agreement came into effect, a highlight in China-Latin America cooperation under the Belt-and-Road Initiative.
The Chilean-Chinese cooperation under the initiative is represented by technical programs, in particular in astronomy-related areas, in addition to projects in politics, economy, and culture. In 2012, the two nations signed a technical cooperation agreement, which was proceeded by the establishment of the CAS South America Center for Astronomy (“CASSACA” or “the Center”). Situated in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, a place with outstanding astronomical observation conditions, the CASSACA helps to realize un-interrupted observation, as well as exchanges, integration and complementation of observation results when working with the Chinese counterparts.
Relying on the CASSACA, positive research results have been achieved in astronomic cooperation. The Center has facilitated research exchanges and cooperation, facilitated team-building on specific research topics, and launched multiple projects in relevant areas. In 2016, the National Astronomical Observatories, CAS and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile entered into an agreement to set up an observatory in northern Chile. Now, the observatory is under construction. Additionally, the Center, in collaboration with CONICYT, offers the “China-Chile Post-doctoral Fellowship Program in Astronomy”, which is now recruiting world-wide. The program is a global representative brand that receives wide recognition in the academic world. I also have post-doctors from China working on my research projects, and quite enjoy our effective and delightful cooperation.
In 2016, as a representative project of the CAS National Astronomical Observatories in Chile, the CASSACA was recognized as a “global research organization” by the Chilean government. Along with this recognition, the Center has been eligible to enjoy preferential policies from the government.
At the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation, China announced plans for multiple tech projects with Belt-and-Road nations. The University of Chile has been a co-sponsor of the Belt and Road International Science Organization Alliance. After the forum, we look forward to wider technical cooperation between China and Chile.
(Based on an interview with the deputy director of the School of Astronomy of University of Chile by Chen Xiaowei from People's Daily)
IV. Greater Development Opportunities and Cooperation Platform for South Asian Countries
(Nepal) Binod Dawadi
Under the cooperation framework of the joint Belt-and-Road Initiative, relying on the CAS Kathmandu Science and Education Center, research cooperation between China and South Asia has made multiple achievements. Our cooperation has been consistent with the cooperation and win-win concepts of the Belt-and-Road Initiative.
Located in the southern end of the Himalayas, Nepal is known for its complex geographical conditions, changing climates, and frequent earthquakes. As the Nepalese research in land resource management and ecological environment protection is relatively outdated, the Belt-and-Road Initiative has provided opportunities and platform for us to explore cooperation in sciences and education.
Thanks to the cooperation framework under the initiative, Nepalese-Chinese cooperation has been on a fast trajectory. In August 2015, the CAS and Tribhuvan University jointly established the CAS Kathmandu Science and Education Center, which aims to work with research institutes in the region on issues relevant to climate change, ecological environment, biological diversity, and geographical disasters. Over the years, China has helped Nepal train a number of researchers, which has significantly driven up research capacity of Nepal, and brought us closer to the world’s research frontier in relevant fields.
I myself obtained a doctoral degree from the CAS, and learnt a lot from the Chinese scientists when I studied in China. In 2016, I joined the CAS Kathmandu Science and Education Center. As its deputy head, I saw for myself how fast our cooperation in technology and education has progressed.
Starting in 2016, the Center has sent Nepalese students to study with Chinese universities and research centers. It offers post-graduate scholarship at Tribhuvan University to incentivize research by students and provide training opportunities for young scientists. Tribhuvan University joined the Belt and Road International Science Organization Alliance as one of the first members, which is a milestone for Nepal to participate in global research cooperation.
Under the cooperation framework of the joint Belt-and-Road initiative, relying on the CAS Kathmandu Science and Education Center, research cooperation between China and South Asia has made multiple achievements. Working with Chinese scientists, scientists from Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh have conducted a dozen joint scientific projects and achieved high-end outcomes. In the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, China sent an earthquake investigation and assessment group to facilitate local authority’s decision-making in earthquake relief and restructuring. In 2016, the center sent a scientist group to Annapurna to promote the sitting of the monsoon-vegetation-environment monitoring section.
Thanks to the platform of the CAS Center, China has been working with researchers and educators in Nepal and other South Asian nations to support regional development. Our cooperation has been consistent with the cooperation and win-win concepts of the Belt-and-Road Initiative.
At the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation, China announced plans for joint tech programs with Belt-and-Road nations, indicating China’s intention to share with relevant nations its innovative outcomes. It is expected that Nepal and other South Asian nations will enjoy greater development opportunities and cooperation platforms from the initiative.
(Based on an interview with the deputy head of the CAS Kathmandu Science and Education Center by Yuan Jirong from People's Daily)
V. Cooperation with China Drives Research Capacity in Sri Lanka
(Sri Lanka) Prof. Tilak Priyadarshana
At the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation, participants reached consensus on promoting higher quality projects under the Belt-and-Road Initiative. It is expected to bring more growth opportunities to Sri Lanka and the South Asian region.
Situated at the crossroad of the east-west transport network of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka was once a key stop along the ancient on-shore Silk Road and maritime Silk Road. We enjoy a long friendship with China, as one of the first South Asian nations to support the development of the 21st century maritime Silk Road. As a nation, our support of the Belt-and-Road Initiative has helped us gain domestic economic growth.
In 2015, under the framework of the Belt-and-Road Initiative, the China-Sri Lanka Joint Science and Education Center was established in Colombo. I was lucky enough to be part of the whole process, and a witness to substantive outcomes of bilateral cooperation in science and education under the initiative.
Relying on the center, technical cooperation has been fruitful. Sir Lanka and China jointly established a real-time monitoring network on maritime environment in the southern Sri Lanka nearshore to facilitate root cause analysis of marine disasters, weather forecasting, and shipping guarantees in nearshore Sri Lanka. More than that, scientists from both nations have set up a marine weather forecast system in Sri Lanka. It has been used in the fishing industry as well as disaster prevention and relief, and is widely recognized by the fishery authorities. More projects are in the pipeline or under construction.
Since 2016, the Center has been admitting Sri Lankan students jointly with Chinese universities and research institutes. Over the years, China has trained a number of researchers for us. Many of them have returned home to work for the nation on important roles. In June 2018, the first Sri Lankan post-graduate student enrolled to the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of CAS graduated from the institute with excellent performance. He now works as a senior technical expert jointly employed by the China-Sri Lanka Joint Science and Education Center and the University of Ruhuna.
Cooperation is driving the nation’s research capacity forward to the world’s frontier, thanks to the Belt-and-Road Initiative. At the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation, participants reached consensus on promoting higher quality projects under the Belt-and-Road Initiative. It is expected to bring more growth opportunities to Sri Lanka and the South Asian region.
(Based on an interview with the head of the China-Sri Lanka Joint Science and Education Center by Yuan Jirong from People's Daily)
Source: People’s Daily