On June 15th, 2009, H.E. Mr. Zhang Junsai, the Chinese Ambassador to Australia attended “SPATIAL@GOV Conference ” in Canberra and delivered a speech.
In his presentation Ambassador Zhang applauded the conference which “provides a good opportunity for scientists and experts to strengthen exchange & cooperation in the technical field.” He said science has no national boundary. Major challenges such as population growth, climate change, shortage of resources, natural disasters are confronting human society. Spatial information and other technologies will play an increasingly important role in survival and development of mankind. He reaffirmed China’s stands for the peaceful use of space and opposes weaponization and arms race in the outer space. China has never engaged in any form of arms race and will not do so in the future. The ambassador quoted the Chinese President Hu’s remarks and said space is mankind’s common resources. Exploration, peaceful use and development of space are the shared rights of peoples of all countries. To maintain a peaceful and clean space is mankind’s joint obligation.
Ambassador Zhang also reiterated China’s stands to work with Australia in developing the technology, strengthening cooperation in science, and contributing to the well-being of our peoples and the whole mankind. Both China and Australia are major countries in science and technology. “We share broad common interests in the fields of spatial information technology and its application. There are many cases of successful cooperation.” He listed examples that the China Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has maintained friendly and cooperative relationship with the Australian Cooperative Research Center for Spatial Information (CRCSI). In the aftermath of the devastating Sichuan earthquake last year, CRCSI provided spatial information data and images of quake-hit areas to China, a valuable support to China’s rescue and relief efforts. Likewise, when the VIC bushfire disaster occurred last February, Chinese satellites helped the Australian counterpart to collect data and images of fire fronts, which facilitated the local fire fighting operation in Victoria.
He spoke highly of the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Australia in various other fields such as political, economic and cultural exchanges in recent years. And he hopes there will be new ways to further explore potential and upgrade this relationship to the benefits of our peoples. He said the global financial crisis poses challenges to our respective economies. At the same time it brings opportunities. Science and technology should become a new highlight in bilateral cooperation. He put forward the following suggestions on working toward further cooperation in this area.
First, in face of the financial crisis, both should attach greater importance to and work more closely on scientific and technological cooperation.
Second, we should step up cooperation in research and development along with commercialization. Australia has great strength and a solid foundation in research and development whereas China enjoys favorable conditions and has a big market for commercialization. This complementarity promises a broad prospect for our cooperation in science and technology.
Third, we should improve the present mechanisms of cooperation at the government, industrial and academic levels.
Fourth, we should put focus on priority projects such as clean energy, minerals development, environmental protection, life science, and spatial technology.
Fifth, the two countries should bring about a closer cooperation in spatial technology as we share huge interests in its development. China and Australia are located in two hemispheres and are blessed with respective advantages, hence there exists a promising prospect for cooperation.