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China Nurtures Sci-tech Ties with France, Serbia and Hungary

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2024-05-21 15:49:06 | Author: TANG Zhexiao

Chinese and French scientists of the SVOM satellite project. (PHOTO: CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE)

Edited by TANG Zhexiao

Scientific and technological cooperation has been a cornerstone of China's bilateral relationship with France, Serbia and Hungary since the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

Setting a Sci-tech cooperation model

"The results of scientific and technological cooperation are groundbreaking and forward-looking," said Yin Hejun, China's science and technology minister, adding that the technological cooperation between China and France has provided many valuable insights and experiences.

From space cooperation to climate change, there is a long list of the landmark sci-tech projects that the two countries have cooperated on.

In April 2023, China gave France 1.5 grams of lunar samples brought back by its Chang'e-5 mission for scientific research. The National Museum of Natural History in Paris showcases the invaluable gift.

On May 3, China sent the Chang'e-6 lunar probe into orbit, the first endeavor in lunar exploration to collect samples from the far side of the Moon. The mission also carried four scientific payloads developed through international cooperation, with France being one of the key collaborators.

The collaborations demonstrate Chinese efforts to strengthen its international cooperation in space exploration, Space News commented.

"We are very proud to be part of this historic mission," said Pierre-Yves Meslin, French principal investigator of detection of outgassing RadoN. He also anticipated further space cooperation between the two countries.

The Space Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM), the first astronomical satellite jointly developed by the two countries to investigate distant cosmic explosions, has completed environmental tests and is planned to be launched next month.

Bertrand Cordier, SVOM's French chief scientist, said the satellite will study gamma-ray bursts and become one of the most advanced missions for scientists.

France was also the first Western country to cooperate with China on civilian nuclear energy projects. Two countries are working together to address global challenges such as climate change, carbon neutrality, and environmental and biodiversity protection.

Yvon le Maho, an academician of the French Academy of Sciences who received the 2023 Chinese Government Friendship Award, praised China for its achievements in ecological conservation, scientific research and international cooperation.

He said that China plays an increasingly important role in addressing global challenges and contributing to sustainable development. "In today's era, the cooperation between France and China is of greater significance. I will continue to actively participate in and contribute to the exchanges and cooperation in scientific research between the two countries," he added.

The Chinese-built 1,499-meter Zemun-Borca Bridge opens to traffic in December 2014. It is the first new bridge built in Serbia over the Danube River in nearly 70 years. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

Exploring further innovation cooperation

Serbia is China's first comprehensive strategic partner in central and eastern Europe.

Last year, the two countries attended the sixth session of the China-Serbia Joint Committee Meeting of Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Beijing, discussing research cooperation in key areas such as AI, biotechnology and remote sensing technology. The session proposed the priority direction of China-Serbia science and technology innovation cooperation in the future.

During the meeting, Jelena Begović, Serbia's minister for science, technological development and innovation, said she was impressed by China's sci-tech leap, and the country has shown the world a success story of sci-tech development.

Begović also highlighted that the cooperation between China and Serbia in the field of innovation has been pragmatic and fruitful. She expressed Serbia's willingness to further explore the potential of scientific, technological and innovation cooperation with China, and deepen collaboration under bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.

High-quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and Serbia has also achieved remarkable results. The two sides have advanced cooperation in areas such as transportation and energy infrastructure.

According to a joint statement issued on May 8, China and Serbia have agreed to jointly develop new quality productive forces according to local conditions and build high-tech industrial cooperation projects.

As for people-to-people exchanges, China will support 50 young Serbian scientists to take part in scientific research exchanges in China for the next three years. It is ready to work with Serbia to strengthen cooperation on AI and endeavor to ensure humanity properly develops and utilizes AI, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

With the China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement taking effect on July 1, the high-standard mutual opening up between China and Serbia will enter a new stage.

The warehouse area of the Ghibili Port Logistics Park in Central European Trade and Logistics Cooperation Zone in Budapest, Hungary. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

Deepening mutually beneficial cooperation

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Hungary, the two sides have decided to elevate their comprehensive strategic partnership to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for the new era.

"The two sides agreed to hold a new regular session of the China-Hungary Science and Technology Cooperation Committee within this year, continue to expand people-to-people exchanges on science and technology, strengthen the building of joint scientific research platforms, and further tap the cooperation potential in basic research, applied research and the application of scientific and technological research outcomes," according to a China-Hungary joint statement.

The China-Hungary relationship is at its best in history, with continuous broadening of investment areas and greater potential for cooperation in science and innovation.

Peter Pal Kranitz, a senior researcher at the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, said China has now emerged as a global leader in research, development, and the application of cutting-edge technologies, according to Hungary Today.

The Chinese-Hungarian Technology Transfer Center established in China's southwestern city Chongqing in 2016 is a prime example. It has built a bridge for institutions from both countries to facilitate the integration and exchange of scientific talents, innovative technology, investment funding and more. With its help, agreements have been signed for 23 projects and 11 collaborative projects have been implemented. It is a model program of China-Hungary sci-tech cooperation, said Mei Huiling, director of the center.

The digital economy is another focus. Strengthening Hungary-China economic links is important to both countries, Hungary's State Secretary for Tax Affairs Norbert Izer said on May 9, after signing a letter of intent for trade cooperation with an international investment company in Qingdao in Shandong province in eastern China.

Izer pointed out that China is one of the most important trade partners for Hungary outside Europe, so cooperation between the two countries is vitally important in the areas of infrastructure, trade, and especially digital trade, according to local media the Budapest Times.

Editor: 汤哲枭

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