At a bar in Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, football fans watched an exciting World Cup match.
What many of them didn't know was that their region had a hand in making last year's tournament a success, as the turf at the Qatar World Cup stadiums was being maintained by irrigation technology developed at Ningxia University.
Unlike ordinary drip or sprinkler irrigation, the system uses underground hoses to release water droplets evenly and precisely to the roots of the grass.
In addition, it relies on wind and solar power to generate electricity and pump the water through the system and the internet of things to intelligently control the watering process. "This method is more water-saving and durable, and we use underground infiltration to make it more intelligent and efficient," said Sun Zhaojun, a researcher from Ningxia University.
In recent years, intelligent water-saving irrigation systems and technologies developed by Ningxia University have been used in several Arab countries, including Egypt, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, according to the university.
For Sun, the China-Arab States Technology Transfer Center, established in 2015 in Ningxia, is one of the main reasons for its spread.
"The center has set up several sub-centers and platforms for China-Arab cooperation, which has helped with the transfer and implementation of our technologies," Sun said.
Since 2016, the center has been focusing on technology transfer and scientific and technological cooperation between China and Arab countries.
"A number of cooperation programs have been conducted in fields such as cross-border electronic payment, intelligent water-saving irrigation technology and satellite remote sensing," said Huang Ying, director of the center.
In addition, a number of international laboratories and technology demonstration centers have been set up in countries such as Oman and Egypt, Huang added.
Over the years, China and the Arab world have been pursuing productive common development through mutually beneficial cooperation in a number of fields.
Last year, trade between China and Arab states accounted for $330.3 billion, an increase of 150 percent from 10 years ago, and in the first three quarters of last year, it reached $319.3 billion, up 35.28 percent year-on-year.