China Continues to Boost International Scientific Research Cooperation
source： | time：2018-04-11
China continues to boost international scientific research cooperation, with research in some fields of first-class quality, said Dale Sanders, director of the John Innes Centre (JIC), in a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency.
On April 3, Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, awarded Sanders and another UK expert with R visas, which are issued to high-level talented foreigners and specialized talents urgently needed by China. It was the first time the Chinese embassy to the UK had taken that step.
The John Innes Centre is a world-renowned research institution focusing on plant science, genetics and microbiology. Sanders, whose main research field is metabolic biology, said the quality of China’s research in this respect was on a par with that of the UK and the US. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and JIC jointly established Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Science, in Nov, 2016.
Sanders, a Fellow of the Royal Society, has traveled back and forth between the UK and China in recent years, witnessing and playing a part in the development of research cooperation and exchanges between the two countries. He said he makes an average of four trips to China annually, and that the R visa would facilitate his exchange activities. He added that receipt of the visa indicates that the Chinese government attaches great importance to talents.
Recalling his years of doctoral studies, Sanders said he had little idea about Chinese research papers back then. But now China was growing at an absolutely amazing speed, and so was the quality of its academic achievements. He went on to say that conducting cooperation with China could also be beneficial “to us”.
The Nature Index 2017 China issued by the journal Nature showed that the number of Chinese research papers published in recent years has been on the rise, as has the number of papers co-authored by Chinese and international authors. In 2016, over half of the Chinese papers tracked by the Nature Index were co-authored by Chinese scholars and their international colleagues.
Sanders said he hoped cooperation and exchanges of this kind will continue to strengthen. In his opinion, that is quite likely as the Chinese government has invested a lot in scientific research and the UK has also provided a lot of funding to support cooperation.
According to Sanders, the John Innes Centre has carried out more than 20 cooperation projects with research institutions in Beijing and Shanghai, with high internationalization levels due to frequent bilateral exchanges of scientific talents.
A similar trend was indicated by the Nature Index 2017 Science Cities, which ranked Beijing as the most scientifically productive city in the world and Shanghai the fifth. Judging from these rankings, China’s research institutions have seen remarkably improved capability, which has made it easier to attract cooperation with research institutions from other countries.
Sanders said Chinese scholars were willing to cooperate with colleagues from the UK and elsewhere and cement good research cooperation relations as well as friendships.
Besides international scientific cooperation, China’s performance in other ways is also outstanding. Sanders is a member of the academic evaluation panel of a Chinese academic journal, which is gradually gaining world-level prominence in its field. It took the journal just about ten years to reach that level, which, like China’s achievements in academic output and quality progress, Saunders finds very impressive.