SCIO press conference on implementing the innovation-driven development strategy to build China into a leading country in science and technology

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China Daily:

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress stressed the importance of expanding international exchanges and cooperation on science and technology, fostering an environment that is conducive to scientific research and up to international standards, and building an open and globally competitive ecosystem for innovation. In light of this, what plans does the MOST have for future international sci-tech cooperation? Thank you.

Zhang Guangjun: 

Science and technology play a crucial role in today's world and their significance has been recognized worldwide. The Chinese government is committed to expanding sci-tech cooperation. In the course of reform and opening-up, China has taken the lead in strengthening sci-tech openness. As Mr. Wang mentioned in his opening remarks, China is both an important participant in international frontier innovation and a significant contributor to solving global problems. I will address your question from three aspects:

First, we will actively promote new progress in mutually beneficial inter-governmental cooperation. We have established sci-tech partnerships with over 160 countries and regions, signed 116 inter-governmental sci-tech cooperation agreements and built a new pattern of comprehensive, multi-tiered and wide-ranging sci-tech cooperation. In 2022, sci-tech cooperation contributed significantly to head-of-state diplomacy and major national diplomatic events, producing a range of important cooperation outcomes. Additionally, we held 48 inter-governmental cooperation conferences on science and technology, and signed and renewed 25 sci-tech cooperation agreements. We have conducted in-depth, practical and effective cooperation with a number of countries in various fields such as the science-based fight against epidemic, as well as biodiversity, climate change and clean energy. The progress we achieved in areas such as poverty alleviation through scientific and technological efforts, innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and space information and services have benefited more countries and people, and further promoted sci-tech cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Second, we will actively engage in the global governance system, focusing on proposing China's approach and making contributions to addressing common challenges facing humanity. We will take the initiative in establishing the global sci-tech innovation agenda, including promoting international cooperation on pandemic through sci-tech efforts, building the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center , launching the "Green Power Future Mission" and developing plans for international sci-tech cooperation on achieving carbon neutrality. Major international science programs and projects initiated by Chinese scientists have made significant progress. In addition, Chinese scientists have made great achievements in other major science programs and projects, such as nuclear fusion reactors and the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope. China has become increasingly influential in important international sci-tech organizations, with improved contributions, voice and leadership.

Third, we have further stepped up efforts in science and technology opening-up, fostering a sound environment for openness and innovation. We have established a pilot fund that is globally oriented to support scientific research, which allows foreign scientists to lead and participate in China's national science and technology programs. This will encourage scientists from all over the world to conduct research jointly on major issues and enhance their capacity to address the problems of mankind. At the same time, we have rolled out several more open and effective policies concerning the work and life of foreigners and foreign talents in China. We have encouraged and supported Chinese research institutes, universities, enterprises, local governments and researchers to actively engage in international cooperation and exchanges. This will realize the dual drive by the government and the private sector and promote people-to-people exchanges, integration of ideas, unimpeded connectivity of production factors, and connectivity of facilities.

The 20th CPC National Congress has provided a clear direction for international innovation and cooperation in science and technology. Next, we will further strengthen the leading role of head-of-state diplomacy, actively integrate into the global innovation network, strengthen the interconnection between governments, and deepen people-to-people exchanges. We will also expand the scope and depth of international exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, establish new platforms for international science and technology exchanges and cooperation in key regions, countries and sectors, and adopt several institutional policy reforming measures at the International Center for Science and Technology Innovation, and further open up our science and technology programs to the world. Going forward, China's door of opening-up and cooperation for science and technology will only open wider. We will work hand in hand with other countries to contribute more Chinese wisdom and strength to promoting human progress and building a better world while carrying out the mission of innovation in science and technology to build a global community with a shared future . Thank you.

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