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Premier notes role of two countries in "new wave" of technology revolution
China and Germany will strengthen cooperation in scientific fields to tackle global issues and help achieve green and sustainable socioeconomic development through innovation, officials from both countries said on Tuesday.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-German Intergovernmental Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement - a key platform for scientific collaboration between the two nations.
"A new wave of technological revolution and industrial reform is sweeping the world, and Sino-German scientific cooperation is playing a growing role in deepening the all-around strategic partnership between the two countries," Premier Li Keqiang said in a congratulatory letter on Tuesday.
Broadening collaboration in science is necessary to tackle global issues and achieve green and sustainable social, as well as economic, development, Li said.
"China and Germany have many common goals, and deepening scientific cooperation will benefit both countries, facilitate healthy economic and social growth, and inject new energy into the global economy," he said.
Wan Gang, China"s minister of science and technology, said the agreement is one of China"s earliest intergovernmental scientific pacts with a Western country.
In 2015, Germany"s Federal Ministry of Education and Research published its China strategy for 2015-20 - its first strategic framework for a specific country.
"Sino-German scientific cooperation has been a successful example of global cooperation," Wan said, adding that innovation, openness and mutually beneficial practical projects are some of the laudable characteristics of the bilateral cooperation.
In the future, China hopes to facilitate talent training and exchanges between the two countries, as well as jointly create more research platforms and industrial zones, he said.
China also hopes to work together with Germany to tackle global issues such as climate change, water pollution, urban development and traffic congestion, as well as develop new manufacturing methods, he added.
Georg Schuette, state secretary of the German ministry, noted that China and Germany have engaged in many fruitful collaborative scientific projects at various levels over the past few decades.
There are now more than 300 scientific projects between universities of the two countries, and German scientists are actively involved in half of the top 20 scientific research institutions in China, he said.
From 2006 to 2010, China and Germany collaborated on and jointly published more than 9,300 scientific papers. The number rose to more than 19,000 from 2010 to 2015, according to China"s National Center for Science and Technology Evaluation.
China and Germany will continue to jointly research scientific projects that are closely related to improving people"s livelihoods, including areas such as public health, security, sustainable development, transportation and manufacturing, Schuette said.
At the same time, Germany will strengthen cooperation with China in cutting-edge scientific fields, such as ecological protection, biotechnology, advanced materials and the internet of things.
"Innovation can help us overcome future issues," Schuette said. "China and Germany both highly value science and innovation. I think our countries can jointly create a favorable environment where innovation will flourish."