On May 31, 2021, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang and Austrian Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology Leonore Gewessler held a meeting via video link and exchanged in-depth views on implementing the consensus reached by the heads of state of the two countries, plans for science, technology and innovation (STI), China-Austria STI cooperation and other topics.
Minister Wang Zhigang remarked that President Xi Jinping and President Alexander Van der Bellen have exchanged congratulatory messages to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Austria, stressing that the two countries have ushered in new opportunities for deepening bilateral relations and political trust and expanding pragmatic cooperation in various fields. This has set the direction for the sides in the next stage of cooperation. In recent years, China and Austria have continuously deepened STI cooperation, and the two ministries have continuously expanded cooperation and improved cooperation mechanisms, accomplishing a series of remarkable achievements in a wide range of fields of cooperation in STI and adding new dimensions to the friendly strategic partnership between China and Austria. Going forward, China and Austria share common ground in many areas such as promoting the goal of carbon neutrality, and there is a huge potential for bilateral STI cooperation. Minister Wang Zhigang hoped that the two sides will take the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity to strengthen communication and cooperation and jointly make scientific and technological contributions to addressing COVID-19, climate change and other global challenges and boosting economic recovery of the two countries and the world in the post-COVID era.
Minister Leonore Gewessler spoke highly of the progress of China-Austria STI cooperation and said that the Austrian side is willing to further strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side in such fields as environmental protection and sustainable development, promote exchanges, connectivity and industry-university-research cooperation between the two countries, jointly push forward the carbon neutrality goal and boost the economic and social development of both countries.
The two sides reached consensus on continuing to provide joint funding, strengthening exchanges among research personnel, and building a platform for industry-university-research exchange. After the meeting, Minister Wang Zhigang and Minister Leonore Gewessler jointly witnessed the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation between China Science and Technology Exchange Center and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency. The MoU aims to strengthen cooperation between Chinese and Austrian industries, universities and research institutions in information communication, technology connectivity, personnel exchange, commercialization of research results and other areas.
Also attending the meeting were Li Xiaosi, Chinese ambassador to Austria, Director-General Ye Dongbai of the Department of International Cooperation, Director-General Wu Yuanbin of the Department of Science and Technology for Social Development, Director-General Gao Xiang of China Science and Technology Exchange Center and Deputy Director-General Zhao Jing of the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as Friedrich Stift, Austrian ambassador to China, Director for Technology Transfer Gernot Grimm of the Austrian Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology, and Technical Counsellor Max Pfeiler of the Austrian Embassy in China.