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Tech ties with ASEAN gain fresh boost

China Daily Updated: 2022-09-20

China steps up collaboration with key partner in program launched at forum

China has teamed up with Southeast Asian nations to launch a program aimed at boosting cooperation in technology with a focus on promoting innovation in the sphere.

The China-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Enhancing Program was launched on Thursday by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology as officials from countries in the region gathered in a forum.

"China has always viewed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as a preferred partner in terms of international cooperation on science, technology and innovation," said Wang Zhigang, China's minister for science and technology.

Wang cited the ministry's Talented Young Scientist Program, which has brought 145 researchers from ASEAN countries to China to undertake yearlong research.

At the opening of the 10th Forum on China-ASEAN Technology Transfer and Collaborative Innovation, Wang spoke of the benefits of the latest technology partnership initiative while announcing its launch.

The forum is being held online and offline on the sidelines of the 19th China-ASEAN Expo, which is taking place from Friday to Monday in Nanning, the capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Wang said China is willing to work with ASEAN countries to promote science and technological cooperation and build a closer partnership of science, technology and innovation for the future, making the sector a key component of the China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

The two sides should further deepen cultural and educational exchanges in the science and technology sector, enhance cooperation in technology transfer, and expand cooperation in research and development, Wang said.

Expecting the forum to enhance cooperation in the technology and innovation fields, Xu Xianhui, vice-chairman of the Guangxi government, said in his opening remarks that the autonomous region will further cooperate in the sector with ASEAN countries. Cooperation zones will be established for the free flow of resources, technology, information and talent.

Also delivering speeches at the opening ceremony were ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and officials from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

"As we mark the first year of the establishment of the ASEAN-China comprehensive strategic partnership, I look forward to advancing our vision for innovative and sustainable growth, notably in the areas of trade, digital technology, public health and sustainable development," said Lim.

Lim said the pandemic has underlined the importance of advances in digital technology and the crucial role of coordinated efforts in research and development.

Lim said China and ASEAN can explore areas of cooperation to further develop medical technologies, including surgical robotics, drug manufacturing and the application of advanced technology in healthcare development.

"We must ensure that the region's growth in digital technology and healthcare delivery not only complements but also accelerates progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," said Lim, adding that support from partners including China can boost ASEAN's efforts to pursue a circular economy.

Also launched on Thursday was the China-ASEAN Technology Transfer Special Initiative, which will involve some 1,000 industries, companies and technologies suitable for ASEAN countries' socioeconomic development.

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