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News Conference on Belt and Road Science Cooperation Symposium held in Beijing

A news conference on science cooperation with Belt and road countries was held by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in Beijing on July 4th, 2017. At the press conference NSFC President Yang Wei briefed the press on the “International Symposium on Funding Science and People Cooperation for a Prosperous Belt and Road”. The press conference was hosted by Mr. Han Yu, Deputy-secretary and Spokesman of NSFC.

In this May Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed at the Opening Ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that we should build the Belt and Road into a road featuring peace, prosperity, opening-up, and innovation. He said that we should promote the innovation-driven development, strengthen the cooperation in frontier areas such as digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and quantum computer, and advance the development of big data, cloud computing and smart city, thus building up the 21st Century Digital Silk Road. We should deepen the integration of science, technology with industry and finance, optimize the environment and gather resources for innovation. President Xi stressed that it is imperative to create sound environment for international young people of the Internet era to start up their own businesses, thus realizing the youth dreams of the next generation. In the meantime, we need to establish a multi-level cultural cooperation mechanism, build more cooperation platforms and open up more channels for cooperation.

To echo the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi, NSFC organized the Symposium on July 2-4th on the basis of previous cooperation to further deepen the collaboration with science funding agencies from countries and regions along the Belt and Road and international academic organizations. The symposium aimed to encourage cooperation in basic research and create synergy for research, talents and innovation so as to address common issues faced by the entire human race and enhance the scientific advancement, cultural exchanges and people-to-people bond. The symposium attracted leaders or representatives of science funding agencies and relevant international organizations from more than 30 countries and regions.

During the Symposium, the participants, in the Silk Road Spirit of “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, exchanged broad views on major issues including jointly supporting research programs, building talents fostering schemes and supporting science mobility and networking of researchers. The participants discussed the Belt and Road Funding Framework for Science and People Collaboration (BRFF) and approved to support the Joint Declaration on Belt and Road Funding Framework for Science and People Collaboration. The symposium laid out a clear development roadmap for Belt and Road scientific collaboration, thus laying a solid foundation for turning the vision of the BRFF into reality.

The vision of the BRFF raised by NSFC was highly recognized by all participants, who widely agreed that the international scientific cooperation has great significance on the global economic and social development and that the international cooperation in basic research should be advanced in concerted efforts under the BRFF to better leverage the opportunity of the Belt and Road Initiative and deepen the cooperation of science and technology among countries and regions along the Belt and Road. The participants agreed to strengthen pragmatic science and people collaboration that benefit all parties under the BRFF in accordance to the principle of equality, mutual benefit and contribution as per capacity.

At the press conference, NSFC President Yang Wei and Vice President Liu Congqiang, Prof. Sirimali Fernando, Chairperson of National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, Prof. Stuart Taberner, Director of International and Interdisciplinary Research of RCUK, and Prof. Pavel Kabat, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of IIASA answered questions from the journalists about the strategic significance of BRFF, the initial vision of BRFF and the comments of foreign participants on the Joint Declaration and BRFF. Also participated in the press conference were media reporters from China Daily, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, Guangming Daily, Science and Technology Daily, Economic Daily, CIIC China, China Science Daily, Health News, ScienceNet and SanshaTV, as well as delegates from relevant departments of NSFC.

Copyright 2007 Bureau of International Cooperation, NSFC