CANBERRA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- An increase in people-to-people connections could improve cooperation between China and Western countries, an Australian expert has said.
The resumption of travel, especially among young people, between the United States and China to pre-pandemic levels would facilitate a better exchange of ideas between the two countries, said Warwick Powell, adjunct professor at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Speaking after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, in the U.S. state of California, Powell welcomed the leaders' commitment to increasing the number of flights and people-to-people links between the two countries.
The role of young people is of great importance to the development of nation-to-nation relations, Powell told Xinhua.
U.S. opinion polls have shown that the younger generation has a different attitude towards China compared to the older generation, he said.
"The youths experienced the benefits of exchanges with people from all walks of life and understand that there is no reason why people from different parts of the world cannot find common ground and achieve things together in the interests of everybody," he noted.
Therefore, a focus on the exchange of younger people is a "fantastic initiative," he added.
Powell also identified climate change as an area where people from different backgrounds could cooperate because of the shared responsibility for the planet.
However, in order to achieve that, the United States must abandon its "transactional" approach to bilateral relationships, he said.
"The United States continues to articulate a worldview that sees relationships between major countries as ones framed by questions of competition," he said.
On the other hand, China emphasizes that the current period of human history should be articulated around the core principles of building multilateral collaboration, added the Australian expert.
With regard to the relationship between Australia and China, Powell told Xinhua that there has been a growing number of collaborative projects over the last 20-30 years.
His team at the QUT and partners from private industry have worked with universities, companies and organizations in China on blockchain solutions for supply chains to prevent fraud and counterfeiting and increase buyers' confidence in the products.
"I've also seen other very successful examples where the research and development capabilities emerging from the Chinese academic world, particularly in areas such as health and wellness science, have led to important discoveries and ultimately commercializations," Powell said.
"There have been a lot of areas where collaborations have actually delivered important outcomes for societies, the global environment, and also at a commercial level," he said.
Powell believes that the ongoing collaborations between China and Australia will deliver significant outcomes for people across the world. ■