Chinese science and technology combat global issues

Wan Gang, president of the China Association for Science and Technology, called on the Chinese science community to unite scientists across the globe and bring scientific exchanges and technological cooperation to the forefront, in order to work under the principle of building a community and shared future for mankind.

This will require Chinese scientists to be more collaborative and advocate principles of open science without borders to facilitate new innovations and solutions to the common issues faced by all humankind, Wan said in an article.

At present, the global situation has been fundamentally shaken by particular issues including the COVID-19 pandemic. The new phase of the scientific and technological revolution and industrial reform is now unfolding. At this moment, there is an urgent demand for collaboration among the global community engaged in scientific research, Wan said.

A senior Chinese official once said innovation is the decisive factor in promoting economic and social development and addressing the common challenges of mankind. Such global cooperation can boost higher-level openness and provide systematic solutions to the common concerns of people all over the world.

At present, China has established cooperation relationships in scientific research with more than 160 countries and regions. It is a member of more than 200 international organizations and multilateral frameworks. It has signed up to 115 intergovernmental scientific and technological cooperation agreements.

The China Association for Science and Technology and its regional offices across China have joined 372 international scientific and technological organizations. It has firmly set eyes on some major projects such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor based in France and paved the way for more cooperation in epidemic prevention and control amid a grim COVID-19 situation.

Some major projects, such as the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope — the world’s largest single dish radio telescope — and the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility project, were put into service and opened to global visitors.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Chinese scientific and technological workers have been actively promoting a shared system to deliver anti-epidemic knowledge and information.

They quickly isolated and identified virus strains and shared the whole genome sequence with the World Health Organization. They carried out frequent information exchanges on scientific journals and initiated close cooperation in virus tracing, clinical diagnosis and treatment, vaccination experiments and testing of infected people.

Those efforts have provided basic information for scientists around the world in their relevant research and helped some developing countries and vulnerable groups get vaccines and medicine at lower costs.

Since the Chinese government announced that it would peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, China has taken many routes and put in substantial efforts to pursue the goals.

In recent years, technological innovations have played a key role in China’s energy field, with new achievements continuously emerging. China’s ultra-supercritical coal-fired power generation and ultrahigh voltage power transmission technique achieved a world leading level.

Nuclear power projects, such as Hualong One technology — China’s domestically developed third-generation reactor — are also a crucial step in this effort.

The utilization scale of renewable energy in China ranked top across the globe. By the end of 2020, the cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy in China accounted for about one-third of the total installed capacity in the world.

Among them, the cumulative installed capacity of hydropower, wind power and photovoltaic power generation all ranked first in the world, providing strong support for the utilization of clean and low-carbon energy.

Accelerating the development of new energy vehicles is also a key path to move towards the goal of carbon neutrality. In 2021, the global market of new energy vehicles maintained rapid growth. The sales volume of new energy vehicles in China has exceeded 3 million for the year.

At the 2021 World New Energy Vehicle Congress, automobile enterprises from 15 countries established the “Hainan consensus” which advocated the green and low-carbon development of the whole life cycle and the whole industrial chain of new energy vehicles through low-carbon energy supply, low-carbon material supply, low-carbon production process and low-carbon transportation.

While dealing with global climate change, land desertification has also become an increasing concern. As a major force in tackling desertification around the globe, China has adhered to the principle of “ecology and green development are the priority” and made every effort to solve land desertification over the decades.

International collaboration on science and technology is also a significant component of the Belt and Road Initiative which takes cultural exchanges and people’s connections across the globe as a main subject, Wan said.

Under the framework of the BRI, China has adhered to the principles of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, to pursue mutual benefit and win-win results. With full respect for the development targets of BRI countries and regions, China carried out scientific and cultural exchange projects, constructed jointly managed laboratories, set up science and technology industrial parks and guided better commercialization of research results, Wan said.

Under the principle of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China held fast to the global vision and built up its innovation confidence. It worked hand in hand with BRI countries and regions in scientific and cultural cooperation, education, public health, digital economy, green development and other fields, Wan said.

A senior official said: “Science and technology are powerful tools for development and may also be the reason for risks. We should proactively study and judge the conflicts, social risks and ethical challenges brought about by science and technology and improve the laws and regulations, ethical review rules and regulatory framework.”

“Moreover, the Chinese science community should deeply participate in global governance, provide valuable Chinese insight and help shape the concept of science and technology for the greater good. In this way science and technology can better promote human well-being and make greater contributions under the principle of building a community of a shared future for mankind.”

At present, a new phase of the scientific and technological revolution is taking place. And scientific and technological innovation is profoundly influencing the production and lifestyles of human society, Wan said.

Entering a new stage of development, China is more determined to deepen opening-up and global cooperation in science and technology and advocate the spirit of open science without borders, barriers and discrimination, Wan added.


Nigarai M Grusio

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