BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- China has been redrawing global science by building a "New Silk Road" for science and technology with developing countries, reported the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English-language daily.
Meanwhile, research institutes in Western Europe and North America, under pressure from their governments, are scaling back or even severing collaborations with their Chinese counterparts, SCMP Columnist Alex Lo wrote for the daily on Monday.
In the Western narrative, China's Belt and Road Initiative is all about laying so-called "debt traps" and building "white elephants" for developing countries, said the article, adding that the malice to China and parental condescension to those countries are too obvious.
"Let those countries, which have long been and still are exploited by Western states, decide for themselves. Surely, they can choose their own partners and reject suitors if they want," Lo said.
According to him, China's collaboration with the Global South usually involves more practical or life-saving technologies such as extracting clean water from waste and increasing crop yields.
"These may not involve breakthroughs, but they help lay the groundwork for economic development to escape poverty," Lo said. "The full scale of science development under the Belt and Road (Initiative) is quite breathtaking, regardless of your view on its more headline-grabbing infrastructure projects."
Lo pointed out that China's scientific investments have offered an alternative to aspiring scientists and advanced students from the developing world where Western institutions were once their main choice for foreign study.
"They have undoubtedly become a source of goodwill with many developing countries which are far more appreciative of the Belt and Road than the Western narrative allows," the article concluded. ■