• Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

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Technology

Sci-tech minister welcomes talent to ‘China opportunity’ as restrictions are tightened in the US amid tech war

China’s minister of science and technology has invited technology talent to enjoy what he called the “China opportunity”, amid an escalating tech war that has seen controls, such as visas, tightened for Chinese students, workers and academics in the US.

Minister Wang Zhigang said that China will “take more active attitudes and pragmatic measures to deepen international tech collaboration, effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of talents, and let them, from home or abroad, enjoy the ‘China opportunity,’” according to a report by state media outlet Xinhua.

Wang spoke at the Conference on International Exchange of Professionals, which kicked off online on Monday simultaneously in Beijing, Shenzhen and Moscow. Russia was a guest of honour at this year’s event, and increased Sino-Russia collaboration was a feature of the conference.

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Many Chinese students and scholars have been caught up in a US crackdown on academia, with Washington revoking more than 1,000 visas held by Chinese graduate students and research scholars since June. The Trump administration has been ramping up its actions against China, and has defended its policies as an attempt to counter suspected espionage activity by Chinese nationals living in the US and human rights violations by China in areas such as Xinjiang.

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The University of North Texas recently cancelled a visa programme affiliated with the Chinese government that would affect 15 researchers. Last month the Trump administration designated the Confucius Institute (CI), the Chinese government-run global education programme, as a foreign propaganda mission, requiring staff to register and adhere to restrictions similar to those placed on diplomatic embassies.

Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said on Thursday that the US has “caused serious negative impacts on the normal cultural and people-to-people exchanges [between the two countries].”

In his comments, sci-tech minister Wang also encouraged talent to contribute to global governance system reforms, using the power of technology and the wisdom of innovation. On Monday, China‘s foreign minister Wang Yi proposed a global data security initiative and pledged to oppose what he described as any US bullying against Chinese technology.

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China has been ramping up its spending on research and development as part of a policy drive to achieve greater self-sufficiency in core technologies, such as semiconductors.

Last year, R&D expenditure by the government, academia and companies reached a record 2.2 trillion yuan (US$323 billion), according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the science and finance ministries.

This article Sci-tech minister welcomes talent to ‘China opportunity’ as restrictions are tightened in the US amid tech war first appeared on South China Morning Post

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