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Minister Chen Wen Attends Symposium on The Role of International Scientific Cooperation in Addressing Global Challenges
2019/07/19

On July 18th, Minister Chen Wen of the Chinese Embassy in the UK attended the Symposium on The Role of International Scientific Cooperation in Addressing Global Challenges hosted by the Royal Society and delivered a speech. The Symposium was presided over by Professor Richard Catlow FRS, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, Minister Wang Zhigang of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and his delegation, and 15 Fellows of the Royal Society were present, including Professor Carole Mundell, FCO Chief Scientific Adviser, Lord David Willetts, former Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Professor Ian Walmsley FRS, Provost of Imperial College London. The participants focused discussions on “strengthening China-UK cooperation on science, technology and innovation and jointly addressing global challenges”.

Minister Wang said that since the signing of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the two governments in 1978, China-UK cooperation on science, technology and innovation has been deepening and fruitful. The China-UK Joint Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation jointly launched by the two countries in 2017 marked the beginning of “Golden Era” for China-UK cooperation on science, technology and innovation. China is willing to further strengthen such cooperation with the British side to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results and make greater contribution to the development of their respective countries and meeting the major challenges facing mankind.

Minister Chen said that President Xi Jinping’s successful state visit to the UK in 2015 charted the course for China-UK cooperation on science, technology and innovation. The 10th China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue held last month included cooperation on science, technology and innovation in its agenda for the first time, which has given a fresh boost to the cooperation between the two countries. In the future, China and the UK could make efforts to further enhance such cooperation by prioritising key areas including climate change and antibiotics resistance, enhancing dialogue on science-related policy planning and on research into the impact of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, upgrading cooperation platforms to strengthen institution building for the joint research projects or groups, and seizing the opportunities of the BRI to enhance cooperation in third markets and help countries along the BRI routes with their scientific and technological capabilities and personnel training, so as to build a “Silk Road of innovation”.

Professor Catlow said that in recent years, China has made great progress in science and technology and played a key role in developing global science and technology. It has become a core cooperation partner of British science and technology. The Royal Society would like to play a greater role in supporting and implementing The China-UK Joint Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation. Mundell said that the UK-China relationship has entered a “Golden Era”, carrying out an all-round cooperation in various fields, such as economy, trade, investment, tourism, science, technology and education. The UK regards innovation as the core of its long-term economic development. Against the background of Brexit, the importance of UK-China cooperation on science, technology and innovation is unprecedented. She hoped that such cooperation would be further strengthened in scale, scope and speed. Professor Nicholas Harberd FRS, University of Oxford, Professor Dale Sanders FRS, Director of the John Innes Centre, Professor William David FRS, University of Oxford, and Professor Catlow delivered keynote speeches on global challenging issues, such as food security, clean energy, and strengthening cooperation with Africa and other developing countries respectively. Other fellows and experts shared their ideas and analysis on strengthening China-UK scientific and technological cooperation. Everyone agreed that in the future, China-UK cooperation on science, technology and innovation should be further strengthened, so as to make due contribution to coping with global challenges and promoting the prosperity of their respective countries and the world.

After the Symposium, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the UK Department of Commerce, Energy and Industry Strategy jointly launched China-UK Health and Aging Flagship Challenge Programme.

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