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Guanhua Xu, Chinese Minister of Science & Technology
Upon the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Science & Technology Year, I’d like to extend my cordial congratulations on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
Thanks to common efforts of both sides, China-EU S&T cooperation has witnessed rapid progress since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 30 years ago. S&T cooperation has become an important component of China-EU relations and contributes to the consolidation and development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between both sides.
Leaders of both sides have emphasised on many important occasions that research and innovation lie at the core of overall competitiveness and will benefit not only the advancement of science and technology, but also economic and social development. At present, the EU is committed to building the most robust and competitive economy, implementing the Lisbon Strategy and preparing for the launch of the Seventh RTD Framework Programme. In the meantime, China has initiated the Outline of National Medium-and-long Term S&T Development Plan to upgrade innovation capability and build an innovative country. The formulation and implementation of S&T strategies by China and the EU have presented a significant opportunity for both sides to further strengthen cooperation and collaboration.
The China-EU Science & Technology Year aims at stimulating dialogue and exchanges between China and the EU as well as EU member states in S&T strategy and policy, propelling extensive and in-depth cooperation in the new century and enriching the comprehensive China-EU strategic partnership. I have every reason to believe that such an event will push forward the sustainable and rapid advance of China-EU S&T cooperation and the sound and stable development of our strategic partnership.
Lastly, I wish the activity series of the China-EU Science and Technology Year full success.
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science & Research
As European Commissioner responsible for science and research, it is my duty but also great pleasure to expand the horizons of European research. I am, therefore, delighted to launch and actively support the China-EU Science & Technology Year. The European Union and China have a rich history of cooperation and dialogue dating from the 1970s, and this year stands as another shining example of our fruitful relationship.
Joint initiatives, such as ITER and GALILEO, are the most visible aspect of this relationship. However, there has been much progress in our relations in all fields that resonate beyond joint research initiatives.
Nevertheless, there are also many possibilities for further improvement and the China-EU Science & Technology Year is among these. It seeks to encourage a rewarding dialogue on science and technology issues where joint cooperation will help us to reach our full research potential, while at the same time reinforcing those relationships where meaningful collaboration has already established secure footing.
Throughout more than thirty years of diplomatic relations, China and Europe have independently navigated the world market seeking our respective positions in the global economy. In order to secure a position among the world’s major economic players, both Europe and China are on their way to establishing knowledge based economies deeply rooted in a vibrant culture of scientific and technological research. Such will be the cornerstone of sustainable economic growth and job creation for the future. We feel that our societies will find in a knowledge based economy the source of sustainable development.
The world is rapidly becoming a smaller place. Science has taken on a global disposition where scientists from all over the world are engaged in a meaningful exchange. It is only logical, then, that our policies follow this global trend. We feel that our present cooperation should be further developed in the spirit of mutual benefit and progressive convergence of research policies. We expect that the China-EU Science & Technology Year will promote the development of common projects of common interest, thus helping both sides to further advance towards the knowledge economy.