Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang pins high hope on sic-tech cooperation between China and UK after President Xi's visit.
Invited by Queen Elizabeth II, President Xi Jinping pays his first official state visit to the UK from Oct 19 to 23.
"President Xi's state visit to UK will open a golden age of the bilateral relationship and a new chapter of cooperation in science, technology and innovation," Wan said in an exclusive interview to China Daily.
Wan mentioned the following things to be expected from Xi's visit: the possibility to establish a regular high-level innovation cooperation dialogue, the establishment of joint labs and research centers, further cooperation on industrial capacity building, exchanges between science parks, and collaborations on Makerspace which will encourage young people to cultivate innovative spirit and enterpreneurship.
"The UK is a science powerhouse with solid research strengths, while China is a big manufacturing country with an urgent need for stable growth, economic restructuring and transfer of the development model.
"With high complementarity in technology industrialization, the two countries should work together to explore more efficient mechanisms of cooperation, facilitate translation of research findings and boost industrial capacity through sic-tech cooperation," Wan said.
Since the two governments signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in 1978, bilateral sic-tech cooperation had been strengthened constantly through a successive of mechanisms such as China-UK High-Level People-to-People Dialogue, China-UK Research and Innovation Partnership Fund and China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue.
In September, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong visited the UK and signed a memorandum of understanding on the UK-China Research and Innovation Bridges Programme, a program to strengthen ties among universities, research institutes and enterprises.
In the same month,British finance minister George Osborne visited China and announced the opening of a 11.8 billion-pounds (US$18 billion) bid for contracts to build a high-speed rail link in England. The planned HS2 is aimed to boost economic development in the midlands and north of England.
Osborne also promised 2 billion pounds of support for a Chinese-backed nuclear power plant in Britain and agreed steps to link up China's equity markets with the City of London.
During President Xi's visit to the UK, the two sides confirmed cooperation items in antimicrobial resistance, rail transit technology, climate change and low-carbon technology, aeronautics, Square Kilometre Array, astronomy and high-performance computing, and agreed to strengthen cooperation among enterprises, universities and research institutes with the focus on technology application.
"So far, win-win cooperation has become the major tune of China-UK sic-tech development. In the future, China-UK sic-tech cooperation is bound to enter a fast track of development," Wan said.
"I believe that President Xi's visit will inject new impetus to China-UK innovation cooperation and open up new space for STI development."