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Remarks by Ambassador Cao Zhongming at the 14th FCPAE European Forum and the 5th China-Belgium Science and Technology Exchange Symposium
2023-10-20 02:45

Distinguished Representatives and Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good morning.

It is my great pleasure to attend the 14th FCPAE European Forum and the 5th China-Belgium Science and Technology Exchange Symposium. At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the representatives and experts from research institutes, universities and businesses of China, Belgium and other European countries. I want to extend heartfelt congratulations to the organizers that have made tremendous efforts for this event - the Federation of Chinese Professional Associations in Europe (FCPAE), the Association of Chinese Professionals in Belgium (ACPB), and the China-Belgium Technology Center (CBTC). Let me also express sincere gratitude to all friends who have cared about and supported China-Europe and China-Belgium S&T exchanges and cooperation.

A country will prosper only when it is strong in science and technology. Prioritizing STI in its national development, China has accelerated efforts to build its strength in science and technology, and pursue high-quality development with greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology. In the Global Innovation Index report of the World Intellectual Property Organization, China’s ranking rose to the 12th in 2023 from the 34th in 2012, and China is the only middle-income economy in the top 30. R&D investment in China exceeded 3 trillion RMB yuan, ranking the second in the world. Underpinned by STI, China’s economy enjoys strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality with a promising momentum. In the first half of 2023, China’s GDP grew by 5.5 percent, the fastest among the world’s major economies. Like a giant vessel, the Chinese economy continues to forge ahead and brave wind and waves, and China’s high-quality continues to advance steadily.

At the same time, our world is living through accelerating changes unseen in a century. Global risks and challenges such as climate change, food security and public health keep emerging. China stays committed to safeguarding the global free trade regime and an open world economy,  carrying out more extensive and in-depth regional cooperation of higher standards, and promoting exchanges and mutual understanding among civilizations. To this end, Chinese President Xi Jinping has successively put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. These initiatives have provided Chinese proposals and contributed Chinese wisdom to global development, common security, and mutual learning among civilizations, demonstrating that China has become an important force for world peace and development.

STI provides important support and strong driving force for  humankind to jointly tackle risks and challenges and promote peace and development. As we speak, trends of digitization, intelligence and globalization are unfolding in the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, reshaping the global innovation and economic structures. So a global vision is integral to the development of science and technology. It is imperative to integrate  into the global innovation network more actively. Committed to promoting high-standard opening-up, China will continue to implement a more open, inclusive, and mutually beneficial strategy for international S&T cooperation, deeply integrate in global industrial division of labor and cooperation, and foster an open innovation ecosystem with global competitiveness to see that the fruits of such cooperation can better benefit people all over the world while the development space for Chinese modernization is also broadened.

Ladies and gentlemen,


China-EU and China-Belgium STI cooperation has a solid foundation, is mutually beneficial and enjoys broad prospects. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. In recent years, China-EU STI cooperation has further expanded and deepened, which has become an important pillar of the China-EU partnership. Facing the profound evolution of the international political and economic environment and innovation landscape, China-EU cooperation is not only conducive to the STI and economic development of the two sides, but also to global S&T progress and economic development, adding stability and impetus to a world full of uncertainties.

Under the overall framework of China-EU relations, China-Belgium all-round friendly cooperative partnership has continued to develop steadily. China and Belgium have their own specialties in STI and a good foundation for cooperation. There is both practical needs for and real benefits of such cooperation. China has set up innovation dialogue, joint committees and other intergovernmental mechanisms at different levels with the Belgian federal government and regional governments. Chinese and Belgian research institutes, universities and businesses have carried out close and fruitful cooperation in key areas such as basic research, modern agriculture and public health. Overseas Chinese professionals have also played active roles in promoting China-Belgium exchanges and cooperation in STI and business start-ups.

Ladies and gentlemen,


The world is standing at a historical crossroads. In the long run, the trend toward a multi-polar world remains unchanged, the overall direction toward economic globalization remains unchanged, and the trend of our times toward peace, development, and win-win cooperation remains unchanged. In the face of risks and challenges, it is all the more important for us to enhance communication and exchanges, and work in unity. We need to bridge differences with dialogue, oppose divisions with unity, and promote development with cooperation. We need to build a better world together guided by the vision of a global community of shared future.

The theme of this symposium is “Advance China-EU collaboration for tomorrow”. Many esteemed Chinese and European guests will make keynote speeches and participate in panel discussions. Targeted and in-depth exchanges in the fields of life sciences, AI, green development, intelligent logistics and innovation and entrepreneurship will also take place. I hope that in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefits, the attendees will make good use of this platform to enhance communication and exchanges, and seek new opportunities, new drivers and new space for cooperation. We are ready to work with you to inject fresh impetus into China-EU and China-Belgium STI cooperation, and further substantiate China-EU and China-Belgium partnerships. Finally, I wish this conference a complete success.

Thank you.

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