China Is a Staunch Force for International Sci-tech Cooperation and Development
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of my wife and my colleagues, I would like to thank you for coming to tonight’s gathering.
Today is what we in China call the Laba Day, or the eighth day of the 12th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Chinese tradition has it that the New Year begins after the Laba Day. So tomorrow will actually usher in the Chinese New Year and kick off a month-long Spring Festival celebration.
The Spring Festival is a time for family reunion and get-together with friends. It is all about celebrating the past year and embracing the new one. And this is why we are gathered here tonight.
To start with, I would like to congratulate all of you on joining the foreign members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 2023. This is not only a recognition of your academic achievements, but also a tribute to your efforts on promoting China-UK science and technology exchanges.
Scientific research requires exchanges and cooperation. The UK was among the first countries to establish inter-governmental cooperation with China in this field, which was marked by the signing of the China-UK Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement in 1978. Since then, cooperation between the two sides has delivered rich results, benefiting the people of both countries.
I am glad to know that exchanges between the CAS and the CAE on the Chinese side and the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering on the British side have been quite fruitful.
To date, there are 34 British members in the two Chinese academies, and 22 Chinese members in the two royal academies. As members, you have become bridges as well as catalysts for sci-tech collaboration between our two countries.
Both China and the UK have a glorious history of science and technology, and both have made unique contributions to human civilisation. Chinese modernisation, which we are striving for, focuses on high-quality development, and sci-tech innovation is at the heart of it.
For several years running, China’s total R&D input and high-tech investment have been growing at double digits. New technologies, including cloud computing, big data, AI and blockchain, are being applied at a faster pace. New products and business forms such as intelligent terminals, robots and telehealth are flourishing. China now has some 400,000 high-tech companies, and ranks second globally in the number of unicorn startups.
China values openness and cooperation in our pursuit of sci-tech innovation, and is a staunch force for closer international collaboration. Last November, China proposed the International Science and Technology Cooperation Initiative. This Initiative calls for the pursuit of science, innovation-driven development, open cooperation, equality and inclusiveness, solidarity and coordination, and benefits for all. It advocates an open, equitable and non-discriminatory environment for sci-tech development, and upholds the idea that sci-tech achievements should be shared by all.
Our world today has entered a new period of accelerating transformation and turbulence. Yet, it is China’s conviction that the overall direction of human progress, the overall dynamics of world history moving forward amid twists and turns, and the overall trend towards a shared future for the international community, all remain unchanged.
In the face of the questions of where humanity should be headed, what kind of world to build and how to build it, President Xi Jinping has given China's answer, that is, countries in the world should work together and build a community with a shared future.
To this end, China calls for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation. China’s modernisation will create new opportunities for the world, and we will continue to share these opportunities and work with all countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
China and the UK are both countries with important global influence. Deepening friendship between the two peoples, and growing bilateral ties on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation is in the fundamental interests of both countries and meets the trend of the times. This is what myself and my colleagues in the Embassy will continue to work tirelessly for.
All of you present tonight are staunch supporters of China-UK cooperation. You have played an important role in promoting cooperation in education, science and technology, and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides. I salute your contributions, and count on your continued support.
The Chinese New Year is right around the corner. In the Chinese culture, dragon symbolises strength, wisdom and auspiciousness. I wish you and your families happiness, success and prosperity in the Year of the Dragon.