China to further strengthen scientific cooperation with B&R countries

BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — China is willing to strengthen cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road in scientific research on environmental and climate change, biodiversity and epidemics and infectious diseases, said Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Monday.

Bai made this remark at a press conference during a two-day forum that declared the launching of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) in the Belt and Road Region.

The alliance will help further improve exchanges and coordination for all the existing cooperative science projects in the Belt and Road countries, Bai said.

According to him, the CAS has built nine overseas science and education centers and carried out more than 100 scientific collaborative projects conducting research on the environment, resources, biodiversity, health and new drugs with countries and regions along the Belt and Road since 2013.

Robert Wahiti Gituru, professor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, said his country is already reaping the benefits from collaborating with the CAS.

“Kenya’s economy is highly dependent on tourism, and the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center established in my university has been playing an important role in protecting and conserving the country’s biodiversity, an essential factor boosting local tourism,” Gituru said.

Bai also listed the construction of Gwadar port under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as an example of close scientific cooperation.

The sea area near the port undergoes an earthquake every 50 years on average. The CAS, experienced in related research, worked with local researchers and discovered many submarine landslides, which helped them develop a submarine earthquake and tsunami simulation platform, enhancing the port’s ability to prevent and control risks and speeding up construction, Bai said.

The ANSO, initiated by the CAS and joined by over 40 national, regional and international scientific and research institutions, is also planning new cooperative projects, including environmental change research, he said.

The alliance will publish consulting reports based on joint efforts, so as to provide scientific advice to governments and policymakers of the countries along the Belt and Road, he said.

The alliance will also help train young scientists and grant awards to promote cooperation among scientists and scientific institutions under the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.

Pakistan is going to benefit from the alliance because it will provide opportunities for Pakistani scientists to communicate and learn from their counterparts from China, Russia and other countries along the Belt and Road, said Mohammad Qasim Jan, president of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

“The alliance will improve communications between the nations, and I firmly believe that good communication leads to good relations,” Jan said.

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