In addition to the billions of dollars that China has invested in many countries, to build or renovate roads, airports, port or railway infrastructure, the initiative known as “ New Silk Road » It also began to influence science.
Among these funds, some of them have been used to create partnerships between Chinese universities and some of these countries – most of which are low- or middle-income countries. In early October, for example, cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Museums of Kenya made this possible First published Of 31 volumes Flora Kenya – which, ultimately, should classify 7,000 plant species. On a completely different note, in mid-October, this happened in Pakistan and Azerbaijan join To other countries as part of a partnership to build a Chinese base on the moon in the 2030s.
In an editorial Published on October 24 by the British Review nature It encourages Europe and the United States not to stand aside. It is recommended that they join this effort, which can help solve economic, environmental and political crises.
It is certain that there have been scientific partnerships between these countries and Europe or the United States for a long time. Therefore, China’s huge investments in what is also called the “Silk Road Economic Belt” constitute an additional opportunity for developing countries. Moreover, during the summit held this month in Beijing on the occasion of its founding anniversary The tenth anniversary of the initiativeThe Chinese president even promised expansion: the number of partner research centers is expected to reach one hundred within five years New international meetings They are on the calendar for 2024, in areas ranging from agriculture to intellectual property to nuclear energy.
The problem is that recent geopolitical tensions over Taiwan and Ukraine, combined with fears of espionage by China in recent years and threats of economic wars against the new giant, have curbed some of these forms of cooperation. What an opening nature He considers it a dangerous drift: “Ending personal contact and severing long-standing institutional ties in the world of research is no way to address climate change, prevent wars, or avoid another international financial crisis.
The editorial notes that the New Silk Road has its drawbacks 2022 report From the University of Cambridge: Much infrastructure has been built without paying much attention to local biodiversity, or without much consultation with local people. But the initiative led to exchanges of students and researchers that would have been impossible to finance otherwise, and these exchanges “will not disappear,” whatever Western countries’ perceptions. However, the major looming poverty and environmental issues will need a “multilateral and research-based” approach.
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