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1st China-ASEAN Cooperation of Science and Technology Conference Held

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On July 20, 2017, the 1st Conference on China-ASEAN Cooperation of Science and Technology and the unveiling ceremony of the China-ASEAN Institute of Science and Technology were held in Guiyang, the provincial capital city of Guizhou during the 10th China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week. It was sponsored by Tianjin University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Northwestern Polytechnical University, held at the Guizhou Equipment Manufacturing Vocational College, and supported by the China-ASEAN Center. Experts and scholars from China and ASEAN gathered together, exchanging the latest research results. Consequently, it was expected that, the China-ASEAN Science and Technology Innovation Community be established in the context of the Road and the Belt Initiative.  

Guiyang Municipal Government attached great importance to this event. Chen Shaorong, the Executive Vice-Mayor of Guiyang, met Hu Wenping, Vice President of Tianjin University and leaders of Tianjin University’s relevant departments and offices. The two sides discussed educational exchange and cooperation. 

Many leaders from China and ASEAN governments and universities, and more than 160 guests from 80 universities and research groups, including Chantavit Sujatanond, Director of the Regional Center for Higher Education and Development in Southeast Asia, Kong Roatlomang, Director of the China - ASEAN Center for Education, Culture and Tourism, Zhao Lingshan, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation and Exchange Division of the Ministry of Education attended the event. Hu Wenping, Vice President of Tianjin University hosted the opening and the unveiling ceremony. 

At the opening ceremony, Vice President, Hu Wenping said the ASEAN-China Network for Cooperation and Exchange among Engineering and Technology Universities (ACNET-EngTech), led by Tianjin University, had become an important platform for exchange and cooperation in higher education between China and ASEAN countries within the historical background of the implementation of the Belt and the Road initiative. The establishment of the China-ASEAN Institute of Science and Technology will integrate the advantages and resources from the two sides, providing universities, research institutions and enterprises with a platform to further integrate industry, academia and research. Chantavit Sujatanond pointed out that science and technology plays a vital role in promoting the sustainable development of the regional economy, society and ecology. He said, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization will give encouragement and support for scientific and technological exchange and cooperation under the framework of the ACNET-EngTech. 

Director, Kong Roatlomang on behalf of Yang Xiuping, the Secretary- General of China - ASEAN Center, said that the ACNET-EngTech had developed steadily in recent years, and the establishment of the Institute is an important cooperation project for further expansion of cooperation between the two sides. This will help cultivate more scientific and technological talent and will serve the economic and social development of China and ASEAN. Vice Mayor Chen Shaorong stressed the important role of China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week for opening and strengthening exchange and cooperation with ASEAN in an all-round way. He highly praised the great achievements of Tianjin University in promoting personnel exchange and cooperation between China and ASEAN universities and research centers that are centers of engineering excellence. Finally, Liu Xin, Deputy Director of the China - ASEAN Center, pointed out that Tianjin will continue to support the development of the ACNET-EngTech and the Institute, and will strive to build it into a China - ASEAN science and technology cooperation brand. 

Witnessed by the guests, the China - ASEAN Science and Technology Research Institute was unveiled. At the same time, the Smart Ocean Center, the Advanced Manufacturing Joint Research Center, and the Civil Engineering Center under the Institute, were officially unveiled. Among them, the Smart Ocean Center was to be led by Tianjin University, with the Indonesian Surabaya Institute of Technology, the Malaysia University, and the National University of Singapore as main partners. The Advanced Manufacturing Joint Research Center was to be led by the Northwestern Polytechnical University, with the National University of Singapore, and the State Marine Technical University of St. Petersburg in Russia as main partners. The Civil Engineering Center was to be led by the Harbin Institute of Technology, with Svay Rieng University of Cambodia, the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and the Institute of Technology Bandung as main partners. 

The establishment of the three centers will promote education and technology and in-depth cooperation among China and ASEAN engineering colleges and universities at a higher level, and in wider areas. 

During the forum, Hu Zhengyuan, a senior scholar from a national high-end think tank and chief expert of the Road and the Belt strategic development research center , made a keynote report on the topic of “The General Trend of the Development of the Belt and the Road and New Opportunities for Cooperation with ASEAN”. Hu Zhengyuan, from a global perspective, explained the Belt and the Road Initiative, and gave a new interpretation on the ASEAN historical mission, Asia-Pacific and ASEAN development relations, world peace and ASEAN responsibility, provoking a thought feast for the guests. 

Tianjin University, Harbin Institute of Technology and Northwestern Polytechnic University held the "smart ocean", "important infrastructure safety" and "smart manufacturing" keynote seminars respectively. In the "wisdom of the ocean" seminar, Experts from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore expressed their views on issues such as e-navigation technology, marine ecology and disaster prevention and mitigation, marine engineering and monitoring technologies, and marine science and technology and cultural exchange. The seminar on Key Infrastructure Safety Symposia showcased the latest research results on prefabricated isolation and shock-absorbing building structures, civil engineering disasters and mitigation. The three symposia were informative with clear subject matter. Many academic experts were invited to the seminars, including Pan Delu, Academician from the Second Institute of Oceanology of the State Oceanic Administration, Academicians Ou Jinping and Xie Lili from the Harbin Institute of Technology who exchanged ideas with those present on further research, laying the foundation for further cooperation in scientific research. 

During the event, Vice President Hu Wenping was also interviewed by the "Guizhou Daily". He explained the background, mission and future planning for the China - ASEAN Institute of Science and Technology and pointed out that through this platform, Tianjin University will further promote pragmatic cooperation with ASEAN universities, serving regional economic and social development and the implementation of the Belt and the Road initiative. 

The forum was an event of the highest level, the largest scale and had the largest influence since the establishment of the ACNET-EngTech. The forum was held for the experts and scholars of the two sides to build a platform for in-depth exchange, and leading the academic development trend. It also greatly deepened cooperation between China and ASEAN in science and technology, education and culture. 

By: Yang Yan, Sun Xiaofang

 Editors: Yin Shiyu and Ross Colquhoun