Big Projects: Agricultural ties grow between China and ASEAN countries
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  • 2020-04-09 05:35:23
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Farmers and researchers in China have been working with counterparts in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. CGTN reporter Li Jianhua shows us how collaboration is sowing the seeds for a fruitful future.

Collecting stamens from a mango tree and using them to pollinate another type of mango tree. The hybridization is expected to yield high-quality fruit.

This is Kwanhatai Tanongjid's second month in China. Originally from Thailand, she came here under China's plan to introduce 100 talented researchers into south China's Guangxi.

KWANHATAI TANONGJID RESEARCHER, KASETSART UNIVERSITY "I like it here. China has a lot of new technology that differs from what we have in Thailand. Here I can combine the different technologies used in both countries. And I can bring what I learn here back to Thailand."

Zhou Jun'an, a Chinese mango expert visited Thailand as a scholar for a year. He helped bring Tanongjid to China, and hoped for some good collaboration.

ZHOU JUN'AN SENIOR AGRONOMIST "We used to go for week-long visits. Now the 6-to-12 month visits help us gain a well-rounded understanding of each other's studies objectively."

Guangxi initiated the plan of recruiting ASEAN experts in 2017. One hundred experts are expected to work in the region by next year.

LYU RONGHUA GUANGXI ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES "Our institute has been collaborating with over 20 nations under the Belt and Road Initiative, including the ASEAN countries. About 100 visiting scholars have come for cooperation or communication on about 80 projects so far. The funding for international cooperation is over seven million US dollars."

LI JIANHUA NANNING "The talent scouting scheme is an open platform, not simply limited to ASEAN countries. Experts from other countries with recognizable expertise can all find their places in the country."

China is a big importer of sugar. Imports of it increased by more than 20 percent last year. Guangxi, one of China's top sugarcane producing regions, is trying to turn the tide.

PROF. PRAKASH LAKSHMANAN CHINESE ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES "China could take a lead in helping Southeast Asian countries to make things better for China and Southeast Asian countries. What is required is we've got to improve our systems and technologies."

China has been ASEAN's biggest trading partner for nine consecutive years. Trade volume jumped over 14 percent in 2018. The two-way collaboration is expected to better connect China to countries outside ASEAN as well.

DENG GUOFU DIRECTOR, GUANGXI ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES "Their agricultural universities and institutions are all well connected with other countries' worldwide."

China's agricultural communication with Southeast Asian nations dates back to the 1980s. Now new projects are burgeoning under the Belt and Road Initiative with more facilitating policies being put into action. LJH, CGTN, NANNING, GUANGXI. 

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