China leads BRI with full tech support
Global Times

China is going all out to provide science and technology support for cooperation projects in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with continuous financial and talent investment.


File photo: VCG

With the further advancement of the BRI, which aims to improve infrastructure, greater efforts are expected in technology cooperation for the initiative's comprehensive development.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has provided technology support worth 1.8 billion yuan ($268 million) for the BRI construction in the past six years, CAS President Bai Chunli told a press conference on Friday.

Technological cooperation is a vital part of the BRI. The academy has developed more than 100 projects in the sector and set up nine overseas science and education centers in areas such as Africa, South America, Central Asia and South Asia, Bai said, noting that a 10th center is being planned.

The CAS helped set up a water resource center and typhoon forecasting system for Sri Lanka, Bai said.

"We also established an ecological and environmental research center in Central Asia, committed to protecting the local environment and ecological system," he said.

Trade and investment activities are the starting point for cooperation along the BRI routes, and with the initiative's advancement, many countries will want to work with Chinese participants in technology, said Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute.

Bai Ming told the Global Times that tech cooperation will be the high-level development of BRI construction, and a variety of tech projects can be found in land resources, resource recycling, agriculture and manufacturing.

"What matters is that the cooperation meets the needs of countries and regions along the BRI routes, helping them address urgent problems," he said, adding that the foundation should first be established to improve infrastructure construction and enhance connectivity, which is the major task to build the BRI at present.

Sang Baichuan, director of the Institute of International Business at the University of International Business and Economics, agrees, saying that to secure sustainable cooperation, the protection of intellectual property rights in tech projects along the BRI routes should stay focused.

Sang told the Global Times on Friday that more cooperation in the tech sector will promote the BRI's comprehensive growth.

But a lack of talent remains in the countries and regions, Bai Ming said.

During the past six years, the CAS has nurtured about 5,000 high-level scientific and technological talents for countries and regions along the BRI routes, including 1,500 science and engineering master's degree and doctoral candidates, Bai Chunli said. "Many of them have returned home after completing their studies and have become a major force for building the initiative."

Chinese participants are prepared to seek global tech cooperation under the BRI in recent years. For instance, the Science and Technology Department of East China's Zhejiang Province signed tech cooperation agreements with more than 10 countries and regions long the routes.

Cover illustration: CGTN