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China and UK to strengthen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation

President Xi Jinping outlines blueprint to build Chinas strength in cyberspace
President Xi Jinping outlines blueprint to build China’s strength in cyberspace

According to a report
by Xinhua news agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on China and the UK
to strengthen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation. President
Xi made the remarks when meeting with visiting British Prince Andrew, the Duke
of York, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last week.

Following President Xi’s state visit to the UK in 2015, the
two countries enjoyed what he called a “golden era” of bilateral ties with steady
development. British Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, also said that President
Xi’s state visit to Britain in 2015 advanced UK-China cooperation in a wide
range of areas. Earlier this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May visited China
to continue the momentum of frequent high-level visits and institutional

President Xi pointed out that China-UK cooperation in
strengthening scientific and technological innovation is conducive to mutual
benefit and win-win results, and will further substantialise the bilateral

He also stressed that China will continue on the path of
independent innovation with Chinese characteristics and implement the strategy
of innovation-driven development. He said China will continue its opening-up
and strengthen international cooperation in innovation.

Prince Andrew said he is willing to continue to strengthen
practical cooperation in science and technology, innovation and industry
between the two countries, enhance mutual understanding between the two
peoples, and promote even greater development of Sino-British relations.

At the invitation of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign
Affairs (CPIFA), Prince Andrew visited China to attend the finals of the 2nd
Pitch@Palace China, which focuses on technological innovation.

In late
last month
, President Xi called for efforts to establish China as a
world science and technology leader. The statement was made at the opening of
the 19th Meeting of the Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the
14th Meeting of the Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

According to President Xi, as China strives for prosperity
and rejuvenation, it needs to devote great energy to promoting science and
technology, endeavoring to be a major world center for science and innovation. He
called on the country’s science and technology personnel to grasp the main
trends, seize opportunities, face problems squarely, and rise to challenges.

He also noted that since the 18th CPC National
Congress in 2012, China has been adhering to the Party’s leadership over the
cause of science and technology, striving toward the goal of developing China
into a science and technology power, sticking to the path of innovation with
Chinese characteristics, inspiring creativity vitality through deepened reform,
stressing the key role of talent in innovation-driven development, and
integrating itself into a global network of innovation.

“China’s strength in this field is undergoing a transition
from quantity accumulation to quality leap, and from breakthroughs in certain
fields to improvement of systematic capabilities,” said President Xi.

By quality leap, he called for closer integration of the
internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the economy to advance industry
transformations to move Chinese industries up to the medium-high end of the
global value chain.

At the same time, President Xi stated that technological
innovation should be accompanied by institutional innovation. He encouraged
Chinese scientists to be actively participate in the global governance in
science and technology through international exchanges and cooperation,
particularly in areas like food and energy security, health and climate change.

Recently, China issued
to strengthen scientific integrity, encourage innovation
and scale heights in science and technology. The guidelines encourage Chinese
researchers to conduct exchanges and cooperation with relevant countries and
international organisations, strengthen study on scientific integrity, jointly
improve international norms of scientific research, and cope with transnational
cases regarding scientific integrity.

According to a document released by the General Office of
the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of
the State Council, a scientific integrity mechanism will be established to
encourage innovation and tolerate trials and errors while maintaining zero
tolerance for severe academic dishonesty.

Ministry of Science and Technology
(MOST) and the Chinese Academy of Social
(CASS) will take the leading responsibility in coordinating
and managing the work of scientific integrity in the fields of science and
social sciences respectively.

According to the guidelines, MOST and CASS plan to build an
integrity information system to record and assess conduct of scientists and
scientific institutions across the country. 

The guidelines strictly prohibit
practices such as plagiarism, fabrication of data and research conclusions,
ghost-writing, and peer review manipulation.

Efforts will be made to reform the scientific research
evaluation system, making scientific integrity an important indicator in
various evaluations. According to the guidelines, papers, patents, titles,
projects, and honours should not be taken as the restricting qualifications for

MOST also plans to set up a journal warning mechanism to put
any domestic or international academic journals that ignores academic quality
while seeking high payments onto a blacklist, and papers published in such
journals will not be recognized in any kind of assessment.

The guidelines say intermediary service agencies
which engaged in illegal activities such as buying and selling scientific
papers, ghost writing, and forging, fabrication, and distorting research data,
will be punished severely. Those who are found to have committed academic
misconduct will be banned from teaching or doing any kind of research work in
government-run schools and scientific institutions. Their research grants will
be cancelled and honours revoked.

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