On the afternoon of August 19, 2021, WANG Zhigang, Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology delivered a keynote speech via video at the 4th China-Arab States Technology Transfer and Innovation Cooperation Conference.
In the speech, WANG Zhigang appreciated the cooperation achievements between China and Arab states. He noted, “In July 2018, at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the establishment of a future-oriented China-Arab strategic partnership featuring all-round cooperation and common development, and proposed the building of a China-Arab community with a shared future. In the past three years, the China-Arab community with a shared future has taken deep root and grown in strength. The two sides are now growing their relations along the strategic direction with a broader global perspective, promoting strategic cooperation with a stronger sense of urgency, and making more solid steps for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology attaches great importance to exchanges and cooperation with Arab states in the fields of science, technology and innovation. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan and the China-Arab Science and Technology Partnership Program, we have actively promoted cooperation with Arab states in people-to-people exchanges, joint research, technology transfer and science parks”.
WANG Zhigang pointed out, “In terms of technology transfer cooperation, our ministry and the government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have jointly supported the construction of the China-Arab States Technology Transfer Center. As of now, the China-Arab States Technology Transfer Center has set up sub-centers through bilateral channels with eight Arab states, and formed a technology transfer cooperation network consisting of some 5000 Chinese and foreign members. The past three sessions of the China-Arab States Technology Transfer and Innovation Cooperation Conference have seen the signing and implementation of dozens of cooperation projects, laying a solid foundation for promoting results-oriented cooperation between China and Arab states in science, technology and innovation. China is now at a critical period with the converging timeframes of the two centenary goals. China has become increasingly inseparable from the world for its scientific and technological development, and vice versa. Entering a new stage of development, China will have stronger will and take bigger steps to promote scientific and technological openness and cooperation. In developing science and technology, pursuing sci-tech self-reliance and self-strength, and openness and cooperation are a dialectical unity. China has never pursued innovation behind closed doors, and will not close its doors in the future either”.
WANG Zhigang stressed, “The Ministry of Science and Technology, which is responsible for science, technology and innovation management in China, stands ready to expand and deepen science and technology exchanges and cooperation with all countries in the world, Arab states included, and jointly address global issues and challenges facing humanity”. In this connection, WANG Zhigang put forward five proposals: “First, strengthening people-to-people exchanges and cooperation on science and technology, enhancing mutual understanding and communication between the political, industrial, academic and research sectors of the two sides. We welcome young Arab scientists to China for short-term research through the Talented Young Scientist Program. We will also continue to invite scientific management and technical personnel from the Arab side to participate in the annual technical training programs for developing countries organized by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. Second, promoting the development of joint research platforms such as joint laboratories or innovation centers in key areas of common interest. In this way, we could support the establishment of long-term and stable cooperative relations between the industry, academia, and research institutions of the two sides. Third, exploring cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship. China is ready to cooperate with the Arab side in science parks, share its experience in the development of science parks, and carry out practical cooperation in parks planning and construction, policy consultation, talent training, and industry networking. We are also willing to jointly organize activities to support cooperation on innovation and entrepreneurship. Fourth, deepening China-Arab technology transfer cooperation and further expanding the integrated technology transfer network covering China and Arab state. We could jointly support the construction of the China-Arab States Technology Transfer Center and bilateral sub-centers, promote the transfer and dissemination of advanced applicable technologies and boost China-Arab cooperation on industrial technologies by building the comprehensive information service platform, organizing the networking of transnational technology transfer projects, as well as holding China-Arab Science Week, specialized training courses and other activities. Fifth, working together to build an international science, technology and innovation governance system. We will focus on major global issues concerning sustainable development, build high-level international platforms for science, technology and innovation protection, earnestly implement the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan, set up a global scientific research fund, accelerate the launch of China-led international big science programs and projects, explore the practice of ing research teams for major tasks on a competitive basis globally, and provide greater convenience for overseas talents to work and even start businesses in China. We are willing to work with Arab states and other countries to establish communication and cooperation mechanisms in the areas of data sharing, privacy protection and bioethics to ensure that emerging technologies have a positive impact on the social governance system”.
WANG Zhigang emphasized, “The world is going through a major transformation unseen in a century. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates this process, science, technology and innovation are emerging as a ‘key variable’. To deliver a better life for the people and effectively address global challenges, we must take science, technology and innovation as the key, and harness their power to look for solutions. Going forward, we are ready to work with Arab states to win the battle against the virus, map out plans for the development of science and technology, inject a strong momentum of innovation to the development of China-Arab strategic partnership, and build a mutually beneficial China-Arab community with a shared future and a beautiful planet for all”.