The Chinese Academy of Sciences has announced that since 2013 it has provided over 1.8 billion yuan, about 270 million U.S. dollars, for science and technology projects that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Bai Chunli is the president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He spoke about the efforts of the academy to establish a platform to support science and innovation in Belt and Road countries.
"We led the establishment of the first comprehensive international science and technology organization, the Belt and Road Alliance of International Science Organization, or ANSO. We also trained science and technology talent and built overseas science and education centers for Belt and Road countries and regions. We also initiated scientific and technological cooperation projects, and enhanced the application of the achievements yielded from these projects along the Belt and Road," Baid said.
The Alliance of International Science Organization was launched last November, and the first 37 ANSO members have prepared a two year action plan.
Bai Chunli said the organization had pledged become an influential international platform for carrying out scientific and technological innovation and promoting sustainable development globally.
"Compared with other international organizations for science and technology, ANSO pays more attention to the development needs of countries along the Belt and Road, and especially the use of science and technology to solve problems regarding resources, the environment, and people's livelihood in these countries. ANSO also attaches great importance to cultivating young talents. We will nurture more young talents for Belt and Road countries through this organization," Bai noted.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has trained nearly 5,000 science and technology experts from Belt and Road countries, and they are becoming a leading force in the development of the initiative.
The academy has built nine overseas science and education centers in Africa, South America, and in South and Southeast Asia. And plans are underway for the 10th center.
It has also initiated more than 100 cooperation projects that support green development along the routes of the Belt and Road.
While some scientists focus on basic research that might not produce findings readily applicable out in the world, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been concentrating on research with practical outcomes that can positively impact on local development.
Cao Jinhua, the director of the academy's international cooperation bureau, provides examples: "For instance, we have made good suggestions on the construction of the China-Pakistan highway and disaster prevention, as well as the construction of a knowledgebase for biodiversity conservation in Kenya and Central Asia. We also helped Sri Lanka solve to solve its drinking water problem, and provided climate forecasts for local fishermen, which was complimented by Sri Lanka's government and its people. And we worked together with Uzbekistan to develop some of the drugs that were needed locally."
Academy officials said that China has also benefited from the outcomes of this scientific research in areas such as tackling desertification and ecology conservation in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.