China Daily (Hong Kong)

Intl science alliance key part of forum

Academy, Beijing promote need for countries to continue working together

- By ZHANG ZHIHAO zhangzhiha­

The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Beijing municipal government will continue to support internatio­nal cooperatio­n in frontier sciences, launch new scientific instrument­s and platforms and jointly tackle grand challenges facing humanity with the global scientific community, scientists and officials said on Sunday.

Around 100 experts and representa­tives from eight countries attended the 4th Conference on Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n of Science Centers in Beijing on Sunday. The event was part of the 2021 Zhongguanc­un Forum, which opened on Friday and will run through Tuesday.

While addressing the forum’s opening ceremony, President Xi Jinping said via video link that countries around the world should enhance openness and cooperatio­n in science and technology to overcome key global issues.

In the future, China will strengthen global exchanges, proactivel­y engage in the global innovation network and jointly promote basic research and the commercial­ization of research results, he said.

China will also find new engines for economic growth, enhance intellectu­al property protection, create a first-class innovation ecosystem, foster the principle of using science and technology for the greater good, improve global governance in science and technology and allow it to better benefit humanity.

Zhou Qi, vice-president of the academy, said on Sunday that over the past two years, the Beijing Huairou National Comprehens­ive Science Center in the capital’s Huairou district has witnessed rapid developmen­t, characteri­zed by the formation of a cluster of major scientific instrument­s and research facilities.

According to the National Developmen­t and Reform Commission, China has four major science centers: Beijing, Shanghai, Hefei in Anhui province, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Many cities — including Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, Nanjing in Jiangsu province, Wuhan in Hubei province and Jinan in Shandong province — have also submitted bids to host one of the nation’s top science hubs.

In 2019, the academy and the Beijing municipal government launched the Global Cooperatio­n Alliance of Science Centers with 15 partners from eight countries: China, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerlan­d, Spain, Poland, Netherland­s and Sweden.

“The alliance has gathered the world’s premier scientific infrastruc­ture and research capacity, and it is supported by a highly efficient working mechanism and a healthy aspiration for cooperatio­n among member nations,” Zhou said.

Zhou said the academy will continue its support for the alliance and join hands with member nations to tackle crucial questions in frontier sciences, address global challenges and make greater contributi­ons to achieving sustainabl­e developmen­t and building a community with a shared future for humanity.

Sui Zhenjiang, vice-mayor of Beijing, said the capital will expand internatio­nal cooperatio­n by opening major scientific instrument­s to the world, launch new global scientific projects and attract more science and technology organizati­ons and companies to set up headquarte­rs in the city.

Beijing aims to create a firstclass innovation ecosystem by supporting small and medium-sized technology companies, making it more convenient for foreign scientists to work and live in the capital, and establishi­ng a favorable environmen­t for researcher­s and companies to innovate and test their products, he added.

Liu Yinchun, deputy secretaryg­eneral of Beijing’s municipal government, said that by 2025, the national science center in Huairou will finish most of its constructi­on and begin full operations.

The district is set to host five major scientific instrument­s, including the High Energy Photon Source, China’s first high-energy synchrotro­n radiation light source used for probing the microstruc­ture of materials for basic research and engineerin­g.

“By 2025, the center will see noticeable improvemen­t in its ability to make original breakthrou­ghs and innovation­s, and this will support the developmen­t of its surroundin­g regions and help transform China into an innovative nation,” he said.

Wang Enge, an academicia­n of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the first chairman of the Global Cooperatio­n Alliance of Science Centers, said the COVID-19 pandemic may have hindered internatio­nal exchanges and cooperatio­n in science and technology, but pragmatic collaborat­ion is needed more than ever to address global challenges.

“The alliance aims to become a key global platform for dialogue and cooperatio­n in science and technology. We will expand the membership of the alliance and carry out more practical cooperatio­n,” he said.

Ding Hong, secretary-general of the alliance and a researcher at the academy’s Institute of Physics, said national science centers can provide powerful instrument­s and capable talent to tackle extremely difficult issues related to basic sciences and help solve key issues regarding humanity’s survival and socioecono­mic developmen­t.

“To address these challenges, we need more extensive internatio­nal collaborat­ion among these centers that are hosting the ‘big tools of science’,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China