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Across China: Greater Bay Area rising as China''s sci&tech front

2020-08-10 09:59:08 Xinhua News Agency

In the northern suburbs of tech city Shenzhen, a forest of tower cranes stand at the site of a cow farm that is being transformed into a national scientific engine.

In the northern suburbs of tech city Shenzhen, a forest of tower cranes stand at the site of a cow farm that is being transformed into a national scientific engine.

Here, the Guangming Science City is taking shape. The cluster of scientific facilities and universities now lies at the heart of China's ambition to build the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into a science and innovation center.

According to the local government, the Guangming Science City has launched construction of 60 projects, involving total investments of 140 billion yuan (20 billion U.S. dollars).

The Shenzhen Bay Laboratory, which focuses on biomedical research, is among the latest to settle in the tech park in June. So far, the lab has assembled 49 teams to carry out COVID-19 research, including on virus sequencing and antibodies, said Zhan Qimin, director of the lab.

Labs and basic science facilities are also prospering in other parts of Guangdong Province, helping the manufacturing heartland in south China rise as a new destination for the country's, even the world's, researchers.

In 2018, the China Spallation Neutron Source, the first neutron source facility in developing countries, opened in Dongguan as a "super microscope" to observe the microstructure of matter. A neutrino observatory is under construction in Jiangmen City, and a high-intensity heavy-ion accelerator is being built in Huizhou City.

China has been promoting joint development in the bay area, which comprises Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong. Last year, China issued a more specific development plan for the area. One of its major aims is to build an international innovation and technology hub.

Zhong Hai, an official in charge of Shenzhen's technological sector, said the construction of basic science installations will improve the overall innovation capacity of Shenzhen, which is better known for housing China's many tech firms like Huawei and Tencent.

"The city will enter a new stage of 'two-wheel drive,' with continuous breakthroughs in both scientific and industrial innovation," Zhong said.

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