SANTIAGO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chile and China are accelerating scientific and academic cooperation in areas such as astronomy, medicine, science, technology, and art.
"Collaboration with Chinese universities is extremely relevant. For our university, the relationship with Asia and particularly with China is of great importance and we have already developed areas of work that have been strengthened in the last 14 years," Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC) Ignacio Sanchez said during a virtual conference on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, authorities from Chilean and Chinese universities participated in a panel that was part of a series of talks offered by UC's Confucius Institute to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Chile and China.
On his visits to Chinese universities, Sanchez said that he was "greatly impressed by the development and work they have been doing," such as Nanjing University, Fudan University and Tsinghua University, with whom UC has strong ties.
He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it possible to have remote interdisciplinary cooperation with China on health and crisis management, and it is one of UC's priorities to move towards digitization.
"While COVID-19 continues to affect the world and universities ... cooperation between China and Chile in medical and public health studies may be a very important and urgent area in the near future," said Vice President of Fudan University Chen Zhimin.
He also said that Fudan University "is very willing to work with other universities" in Chile to achieve "collaboration of the highest level," with an emphasis on scientific-academic research, the social sciences, environmental studies, as well as innovation and technology, among others.
Vice President of Nanjing University Wang Zhenlin said that the joint work between China and Latin America to promote "a comprehensive partnership for common development, based on equity and mutual benefit" has opened opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation in many areas.
Wang pointed out that ties between China and Chile have made it possible in recent years to improve cooperation in science, technology, education, and culture, thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, through which Nanjing University cooperate with 31 universities in 11 countries.
The panelists also discussed fruitful diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have made it possible to build bridges of understanding, bring language and cultures closer together, and strengthen ties at all levels between Chile and China.