Growing China-Pakistan Collaboration in Science and Technology

With 6,000 Pakistanis working on their PhDs in China, the two countries are enjoying rapid growth in scientific and technological collaboration, according to Journal Nature. Pakistan's scientific output is now growing at the fastest rate in the world. With nearly 3,000 papers jointly authored and published by Chinese and Pakistani researcher, China has now emerged as Pakistan's top partner in scientific collaborations, surpassing Saudi Arabia (about 1,500 papers) and the United States (about 1,200 papers) in 2018, according to an analysis of co-authored papers from Elsevier’s Scopus database. China is co-sponsoring a range of research centers in Pakistan that are studying topics from rice agriculture to artificial intelligence and railway engineering.

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries. More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language.  China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. Currently, 6,156 Pakistani students are studying in Ph.D., 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs across China. Pakistan ranks third in the number of international students currently studying in China with 28,023 Pakistani students, according to a statement issued by China’s Ministry of Education. It is becoming a truly multi-dimensional relationship which will help Pakistan rise with China on the world stage.

Pakistan's  Co-authored Research Papers. Source: Nature

Typical of the new Sinophile generation of Pakistani scientists is Dr. Iqbal Choudhary, director of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Karachi. Choudhary’s center is one of the oldest — it celebrated its 50th birthday just a few years ago — and largest institutes in Asia dedicated to the chemistry and biology of natural products.

China's Top Collaborators in Science and Technology Research. Source: Nature

Among the Belt Road Initiative member nations, Pakistan has emerged as the second strongest Chinese partner for science and technology collaboration in terms of Probabilistic Affinity Index (PAI), according to the Journal Nature. So far, China Academy of Sciences (CAS) has invested more than 1.8 billion yuan (almost US$268 million) in science and technology projects as part of the BRI.

CAS is supporting the Digital Belt and Road (Digital BRI), a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.

As part of Digital BRI/CPEC, an 820-kilometer long China-Pakistan fiber optic cable has already been laid between the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan in the south and the Khunjerab Pass, China in the north  and operational since July, 2018.

By 2020, the 6,299 kilometers of underwater cables will extend to Djibouti from Gwadar and form the Digital Silk Route between Asia and Africa. At the same time, a space-based Silk Road will provide satellite navigation support to all BRI countries. The first Beidou base station of the Space Silk Road is already operational in Pakistan since 2017.  BeiDou is making rapid progress with 30 BRI countries already linked up.


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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Signs Space Cooperation Agreement With China To Enable First Pakistani Astronaut

https://spacewatch.global/2019/05/pakistan-signs-space-cooperation-agreement-with-china-to-enable-first-pakistani-astronaut/


Pakistan signed a space cooperation agreement with China at a ceremony in Beijing held on 27 April 2019 providing a framework for the training of Pakistani astronauts, space science and exploration, as well as the establishment of a Sino-Pakistani space committee that will discuss other cooperative initiatives in space.

The signing of the agreement by Hao Chun, Director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and Amer Nadeem, Chairman of Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) took place on the sidelines of China’s Belt and Road Summit. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important aspect of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), though it has come under international criticism recently because of allegations that the infrastructure projects are over-priced, of poor quality, questionable economic viability, and incurs heavy debt on an already struggling Pakistani economy.

While brick and mortar infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, and ports receive much of the attention in media coverage of CPEC, there is a space aspect to the initiative that has already seen China launch several communication and Earth observation satellites for Pakistan, and in October 2018 it was announced that China will train and send to Earth orbit a Pakistani astronaut by 2022, a geopolitical response to an announcement by India earlier in 2018 that it will send its first indigenously launched astronaut to orbit by 2023.

“China-Pakistan space cooperation will help Pakistan in terms of satellite monitoring of natural disasters and agricultural production, land and resources surveying, and waste handling in a microgravity environment,” said Lan Jianxue, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, in an interview with Chinese English-language newspaper the Global Times.

Lan also told the Global Times that beyond the obvious benefits for Pakistani space development, the cooperation agreement will also likely benefit China by allowing it to sell satellite services and applications in China, increase the security of its infrastructure investments there through more active space-based surveillance and connectivity, and burnish its soft power image as a provider of space assistance and public goods to the international community.

During Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing in November 2018, Pakistan and China agreed to expand and deepen their collaboration in the areas of new and emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information and communications technology, “which can contribute to improved living standards through their applications in the fields of health, agriculture, water, energy and food security.”

Pakistan and China also agreed to promote the 2012-2020 Space Cooperation Outline between the CNSA and SUPARCO. The two countries expressed their satisfaction on the launch of the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) earlier in 2018, and agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in space technology applications.

Riaz Haq said…
Govt schools to be converted into ‘Science technology schools’ : Fawad ch

https://www.brecorder.com/2019/05/16/497447/govt-schools-to-be-converted-into-science-technology-schools-fawad-ch/

He explained the Science School program that with the collaboration of education ministry we would provide modern technology in government schools as it is time to work actively for developing schools as centers of knowledge.

Minister said in the first phase of this program we have selected almost 1500 government schools where government would introduced technology based education for students.

“The program will equip government students to compete with other students from any part of the world”, he added.

While emphasis on digital education in Pakistan, he said , “We have to support our technology companies and facilitate our future generation to acquire scientific and technological education to meet the latest requirements,” he stressed.

Digital education is the key to success in this modern era full of technologies, he added.

There are still very less educational institutes that are providing facilities for digital education but this ratio is expected to improve by upcoming digital initiatives in the future, he hoped.

However, he said there was dire need to improve the standard and quality of government schools in the country as this sector was badly neglected in past but PTI government would utilize all available resources for the promotion of technology in education institutions.

Different technology based apps would be introduced in smart gadgets that will help citizens to understand and get knowledge more easily.

All debit cards and credit cards would also be shifted to the mobile phones within next 6 to 8 months, adding, as China’s all business already shifted to their Mobile phones, he mentioned.

Replying a question about its security , he assured that this system would be secure like ATM cards.

Fawad said , the federal government has also decided to set up science and technology parks in the country and these parks will be established in collaboration of universities.

He highlighted the purpose of these parks was to promote studies and research in science, especially for science students who would get all the facilities related to science and technology under one roof.

‘Lahore Science Park’ which was already in final stages would be inaugurated soon, he also declared.
Riaz Haq said…
#Trump trying to crush one of #China's most high-profile #tech companies is deeply unwise. Companies around the world — including #Huawei’s #American suppliers (#Google, #Intel, #Qualcomm) will lose business incur & significant new costs #5G https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-20/huawei-blacklist-trump-and-commerce-make-a-serious-mistake via @bopinion

In its struggle with China over trade and national security, the U.S. has many legitimate grievances, and a variety of weapons for seeking redress. That doesn’t mean it should use all of them.

The nuclear missile the U.S. just launched at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a case in point. Last week, the Commerce Department placed Huawei and nearly 70 of its affiliates on an “Entity List,” which means that U.S. suppliers may now need a license to do business with them. Both Huawei’s mobile phones and its network equipment rely on American components, including advanced semiconductors. If the ban is applied stringently, it could drive one of China’s most high-profile companies — employing more than 180,000 people — out of business.


That would be a serious mistake. The U.S. has long argued that Huawei poses a national-security threat. And there certainly are legitimate reasons to worry that incorporating Huawei gear into America’s networks will leave them vulnerable both to spying and, in the event of a conflict, sabotage. But the U.S. is already taking other prudent steps to prevent Huawei equipment from being used domestically. Seeking to put the company out of business as well is both disproportionate and deeply unwise.

For one thing, it will impose collateral damage. Blameless companies around the world — including Huawei’s American suppliers — could lose business, face disruptions and incur significant new costs. Allies that have resisted U.S. pressure to shun Huawei’s equipment will resent being backed into a corner: Even if President Donald Trump loosens the noose a bit, they can hardly take the chance that restrictions won’t be re-imposed later. China will only redouble its efforts to produce advanced technologies domestically.

As a negotiating strategy, the decision makes even less sense. U.S. officials claim it had nothing to do with stalled trade talks, but it certainly looks like Trump wants to use Huawei as leverage, just as he did last year with ZTE Corp. Trump has already invoked national security far too often in pursuing his scattered trade battles. Doing so here would set another terrible precedent while almost certainly backfiring: It will aggravate the current impasse and give Beijing little incentive to abide by any eventual agreement.

Worse, the decision undermines the implicit point of any U.S.-China trade deal: not just to increase commerce but to stabilize relations between the world’s two most powerful nations. While tensions are inevitable, a healthy trading relationship should in theory restore ballast, reminding both sides of the benefits of cooperation and strengthening constituencies that have reason to prefer peace to war. By contrast, targeting Huawei so nakedly will only further marginalize the few moderates in the Chinese leadership and embolden hawks who see conflict as unavoidable. For ordinary Chinese, it will be hard to avoid the impression that the U.S. is simply trying to limit their economic possibilities.

Even on its own terms, finally, this gambit is likely to fail. To be effective, an assault on Huawei would need to be embedded in a larger strategy with a clearer endgame in mind. That’s nowhere in evidence: Is the aim to cripple China’s tech industry? Teach the country its place? Give a boost to non-Chinese suppliers? Provoke a conflict? End one? Without a more focused goal, Trump risks simply alienating U.S. allies, infuriating average Chinese and raising the chances of confrontation, all to no obvious end.

Riaz Haq said…
Towards CPEC 3.0
Sohaib R. Malik

https://www.dawn.com/news/1484851

In the telecom industry, China’s Huawei has become a leading equipment supplier and is among the world’s most innovative companies with nearly 88,000 patents as of December 2018. Analysts believe it is set to lead the world in the rollout of the future’s most promising, and critical, technology: fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecom infrastructure. As of April 2019, Huawei had signed more than 40 5G contracts globally, proving that the firm can commercialise its solutions faster than its Western and Asian rivals.

Many Chinese tech giants are already present in Pakistan. Since digital connectivity and infrastructure are essential for tomorrow’s economies, future cooperation in this area should form a major pillar of CPEC. Regardless of the US government’s fierce opposition, Chinese tech giants will be at the forefront of advancements in the telecom industry. Therefore, B2B partnerships could help Pakistan’s budding ICT sector to develop capacities by engaging with Chinese partners. Meanwhile, Chinese firms can target the vast untapped potential of Pakistani market.

Concerned chiefly about its soaring dependence on imported fuels and worsening urban pollution — challenges we can relate with — the Chinese government implemented several corrective measures. Since taking the reins in 2013, President Xi has stressed the need for sustainability more than his predecessors. Resultantly, China is a leader in the renewables industry and the largest market for electric vehicles (EVs). According to Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, by December 2018 China had 181 gigawatt of wind and 175GW of solar PV capacity — a whopping one-third of installations worldwide.

Although Western original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) dominate the global wind turbine value chain, Chinese PV suppliers are rivalled by none, albeit facing anti-dumping duties by many countries. Chinese turbine OEMs have struggled to lure investors outside their domestic market, but thanks to CPEC, they hold a 30pc share in Pakistan’s nascent wind energy market. Chinese turbine OEMs are willing to localise production for future installations, which can lay the foundation for tech transfer — yet another incentive that sets renewables apart from thermal power.

China leads the world in emerging trends in e-mobility. It has over 200 million electric two-wheelers and recorded sales of 1m EVs in 2018 — more than the rest of the world combined. According to McKinsey, a consultancy, the success of Chinese OEMs is more pronounced in the e-bus segment — of the 97,000 urban buses sold in China in 2018, 87,000 were electric.

Beijing has a goal that one-fifth of vehicles sold in China by 2025 should be electric, which will catalyse exponential growth in EV sales and help Chinese manufacturers consolidate their strengths. Advancements in these sectors will create further synergies. For instance, 5G connectivity is necessary to commercialise autonomous EVs and robo-taxis, which will rely on artificial intelligence and fuelled (ideally) through renewables.

This is not to suggest that China will help us become an important player in these futuristic technologies. That thought is far-fetched. Nevertheless, by aiding Islamabad in these areas to address the economic and environmental challenges it faces, Beijing will vindicate President Xi’s stated vision of BRI and legitimise its leadership in the developing world. Or else we must tone down the enthusiasm that encircles CPEC and reassess the allocation of our scarce institutional resources for better outcomes.

Riaz Haq said…
China Focus: China, Pakistan cooperate to cultivate technical talents

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-05/29/c_138099444.htm

After the conclusion of the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing in 2017, a delegation of Pakistan's largest province Punjab headed to Tianjin and signed an agreement with the coastal municipality to cooperate on vocational education.

In July 2018, Tianjin Modern Vocational Technology College and Punjab's Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority co-founded the Pakistan Luban Workshop in Punjab. The workshop offers courses such as new energy vehicles and electromechanical integration technology.

Ali (Arqam, 19) was among the first batch of students recruited by the workshop. "The learning process is so much fun, just like playing toys," he said, adding he was impressed by the advanced training facilities of the workshop.

Apart from the workshop in Pakistan, eight Luban Workshops have been set up in Asia, Africa and Europe since 2016, training more than 4,000 students and about 600 teachers.

"The workshop doesn't teach local students directly but trains local teachers at first. This is a bridge connecting China's vocational education with the world," said Lyu Jingquan, deputy director of Tianjin Municipal Education Commission.

In addition, the Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT) featuring vocational education was established in 2018, by three Tianjin universities and a vocational education training organization of Punjab. With nearly 500 students, PTUT offers seven specialties including mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, electrical engineering, electric engineering, fashion design and architecture.

"The students show great interest in our courses and are able to quickly acclimate to the new teaching methods," said Zhao Wei, a teacher from Tianjin University of Technology and Education, who's now teaching at PTUT.

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION BOOSTS DEVELOPMENT

Of the nearly 200 million people in Pakistan, people aged between 16 and 30 accounts for about 60 percent of the entire population.

"We have a large number of young people, who need to be trained to master a skill, which could help them secure a job," said Muhammad Asif, the academic dean with PTUT.

Asif believed that professional and technical personnel have played an important role in China's economic development and helped China achieve great prosperity. The government of Punjab hopes to promote vocational education, cultivate highly skilled labor force, and increase youth employment, by learning from China's experience.

"Punjab attempts to improve employment through enhancing vocational education, while we also want to foster more talents for both Pakistani and Chinese enterprises along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," said Liu Xin, president of Tianjin University of Technology and Education.

Pakistan hopes to learn from China's experience of vocational education development to stimulate the development of the CPEC, according to Syed Javed Hassan, Chairman of Pakistan National Vocational and Technical Training Commission.

After over five years of construction, CPEC has yielded fruitful achievements, creating more than 75,000 jobs for Pakistan.

Aside from vocational education cooperation, China and Pakistan have a wider range of cooperation in education.

Statistics showed around 2,500 students from Pakistan went to study in China in 2017, and the number of Pakistani students in China stands at 22,000 as of May 2019.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistani students shine at #Beijing Institute of Technology #China. Among distinguished international students from #Russia, #Poland, #Germany, #France, #Kazakhstan, #Egypt and #African countries, 85% of the top award winners are from #Pakistan. http://a.msn.com/0F/en-xl/BBYlsRv?ocid=st

BEIJING: A number of Pakistani students at Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), a major research university under the supervision of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, were awarded “best student of the year” for their performance during current academic year.

Out of total distinguished international students from Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Kazakhstan, Egypt and African countries who won the award, 85 per cent belonged to Pakistan, according to a data released by the institute.

Manzoor Sutlan, a student of Armament Science and Technology Department, excelled in the research on molecular dynamics simulation, co-crystallization to decrease, sensitivity of explosive materials.

Similarly, Syed Anees Haider Zaidi of Management Science and Engineering was awarded excellent student award for research in green supply chain.

Raja Hamid Dhanyak carried out research in electronic science and technology and Syed Zaheer from Mathematics department of the university conducted research in geometry and were declared excellent students.

Two students Zahoor Ahmed and Shujah-ur-Rehman from School of Management Economics excelled in carrying out research in environmental sustainability, energy economic and accounting respective.


Zeeshan Masood, a student of School of Automation and Ali Muhammad Rawahid, a student of aerospace engineering excellently performed during their research in control science and engineering and electric propulsion respectively.

Ubaid Khan, Qasim Umer and Adnan Tahir, students of school of optics and photonic, computer science and life sciences respective were selected or the excellent award for research in optical engineering, machine learning, software maintenance and bioinformatics and neurobiology.

More than 2,500 international students from 137 countries are currently enrolled at the university.
The largest student population is from Pakistan, South Korea, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Thailand.

Every year, the university nominates some students for excellent students of the year on the basis of their performance.
Riaz Haq said…
Eric Schmdt: Computer science in 1970s & ’80s funded by US Government. #Trump now proposing to double funding for #AI and quantum computing for #NationalSecurity. Need to up #biotechnology funding. #Americans Beware of #China Getting Ahead in #technology https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/opinion/eric-schmidt-ai-china.html

Many of Silicon Valley’s leaders got their start with grants from the federal government — including me. My graduate work in computer science in the 1970s and ’80s was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

But in recent years, Americans — Silicon Valley leaders included — have put too much faith in the private sector to ensure U.S. global leadership in new technology. Now we are in a technology competition with China that has profound ramifications for our economy and defense — a reality I have come to appreciate as chairman of two government panels on innovation and national security. The government needs to get back in the game in a serious way.

Important trends are not in our favor. America’s lead in artificial intelligence, for example, is precarious. A.I. will open new frontiers in everything from biotechnology to banking, and it is also a Defense Department priority. Leading the world in A.I. is essential to growing our economy and protecting our security. A recent study considering more than 100 metrics finds that the United States is well ahead of China today but will fall behind in five to 10 years. China also has almost twice as many supercomputers and about 15 times as many deployed 5G base stations as the United States. If current trends continue, China’s overall investments in research and development are expected to surpass those of the United States within 10 years, around the same time its economy is projected to become larger than ours.
Riaz Haq said…
#China will provide Rs 2 billion for smart university project in #Pakistan to introduce advanced #digital technologies in universities with focus on distance education. #digitalpakistan #education #CPEC #highereducation #distancelearning https://nation.com.pk/11-Apr-2020/china-will-provide-rs2-billion-for-smart-university-project-in-pakistan

China will provide Pakistan with an unrequited assistance of Rs 2.048 billion for completion of a smart university transformation project.

The project belongs to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework to promote Pakistan’s economic and social development. The first phase of the pilot program includes 50 public universities, according to qq.com, a Chinese news website.

The project aims to create a more attractive university environment by introducing advanced digital technologies in universities. The project will also focus on developing distance education and promoting cultural progress, thereby expanding the influence and coverage of university education.

According to the agreement signed by China and Pakistan, the project covers a total of 124 public universities, and 400 smart classrooms need to be prepared, including 200 classrooms in the first phase of the pilot.
Riaz Haq said…
Omnipotent Tencent eyes promising high-tech industries for future
By Zhang Dan Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/24 22:12:33

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1192625.shtml

Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested 10 billion yuan ($1.41 billion) in a large-scale big data center in North China's Tianjin, covering an area of 280 mu (18.67 hectares).

Equipped with 300,000 servers, the center will provide significant support to the company's business in North China and serve domestic internet users while offering comprehensive cloud platform services to other enterprises.

Closely following Tencent's investments in recent years, Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based veteran tech industry observer, found cloud-services have become top priorities for the company.

"Once finished, the data center will greatly facilitate Tencent's cloud service capacity and help with its partners," Liu said.

Owning China's most popular messaging app WeChat, the omnipotent tech giant is eyeing more.

And, Tencent is preparing to buy a stake in Oxford Nanopore, a biotech firm leading the UK's charge to develop testing kits for COVID-19, Sky News reported on June 19.

Investing in a diverse range of business sectors, from e-commerce to video gaming, from ride hailing to fintech, and from electric cars to social media, the tech giant has a vision for promising industries in the future.

So far, Tencent has built two major labs for artificial intelligence (AI) and cutting-edge technologies, covering AI, robotics, quantum computing, 5G and the Internet of Things.

"It is notable that Tencent has invested in multiple areas. More importantly, it does not seek control over the companies that it invests in. Instead, it empowers the companies and helps them grow together," Liu told the Global Times on Wednesday that Liu Qiangdong is still the decision- maker for e-commerce platform JD.com, rather than Tencent.

Like fellow conglomerate Alibaba, Chinese tech giants do not seek a particular label, but dabble in all areas, Liu said. "In the future, Tencent and Alibaba will perform as platforms, assisting developers and partners to explore, research, test and expand."

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Tencent's stock price soared. After eliminating weight price, the share surpassed a record high on January 29, 2018 and has witnessed 28 percent growth since 2020.

Liu noted that it shows the capital market remains optimistic about Tencent's future due to its far-sighted layouts in different industries, of which some have already achieved good results.

"The destiny of China will be driven by tech companies. The 'new infrastructure' is based on technological manufacturing and technological infrastructure building, relying on giants like Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and the like," Liu said.

After domestic tech giants go international, they will definitely challenge the positions of Western tech giants, namely Google and Facebook, he said, giving credit to the better services and multiple functions of Chinese apps.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently published a survey of 2,500 global innovation executives and found Huawei had made an impressive leap - jumping 42 places to rank 6th among all the most innovative companies around the world.

Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com are all in the top 50.

"Digital, networked and intelligent applications make China's economy and Chinese society more resilient in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak," Ren Yuxin, chief operating officer of Tencent Holdings, said at the Fourth World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin on Tuesday.

He noted smart logistics, online healthcare services, online education and telecommuting have facilitated China's work resumption accurately and in an orderly manner.

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