More than two millennia ago, thanks to the concerted efforts of our ancestors, a silk road connecting Asia and Europe through land and sea was successfully built, serving as a bridge between the East and West for interactions and as a major route for economic, political, cultural and ideological activities between the two continents.
For centuries, the ancient Silk Road, a link of historical importance, has witnessed countless unforgettable moments of people going through thick and thin in countries along the route. Symbolizing a spirit of "peaceful cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and all-win", the road has become a common spiritual wealth of the peoples of countries along the Belt and Road. Passed from generation to generation, the timeless spirit of the Silk Road has been instrumental in promoting the integration of different peoples and cultures and in facilitating exchanges between different countries and regions and thus has made unique and substantive contributions to the prosperity and development of Asia and Europe.
In 1875, representatives of 17 countries signed the intergovernmental agreement, the Metre Convention in Paris, France and founded organizations under this treaty, establishing a permanent international framework for realizing the global unification of measurement units. With the constant development of society, metrology, as an important means of social governance, lays the groundwork for economic development, serves as a foundation for fair trade, supports technological progress, has play a significant role in global trade and sustainable economic as well as social development.
With great attention being given by the Chinese government and tremendous support from all sectors of society, Chinese metrological system is continuously being improved and developed. Presently, metrology has become as an integral part of National Quality Infrastructure, serving as a link connecting China and other countries in the world, making it possible to build trust and achieve common progress. To promote the innovation and development of an international metrological system on the basis of respecting countries' differences in history and culture, national interests and natural resource endowment, accords with not only the fundamental needs of social development but also our common vision for the future.
In March 2015, the Chinese Government authorized the promulgation of "Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road", which puts forward the cooperation initiative of building "The Belt and Road" by China and countries along the Belt and Road and explicitly makes metrology as a key area of cooperation. This not only demonstrates the vital and fundamental status of metrology, but also embodies our common need for mutual benefit, providing guidelines for deepening the cooperation in metrology between China and countries along the Belt and Road.
In order to promote pragmatic cooperation in metrology with countries along the Belt and Road in a larger scope, with higher standards and at deeper levels, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China has initiated and published "The Belt and Road" Vision and Actions for Cooperation in Metrology.
photo taken on Nov. 12, 2019 shows the extension of Southern Expressway
that will link the country's main ports and airports in Sri Lanka.
-- I. General ideas
Championing the ideas of equality, extensive consultation, joint contribution, sharing benefits and all-win while abiding by international norms, based on the reality of each country and through equal-footed consultation, we should actively push forward with all-around pragmatic cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road and give consideration to the interests and aspirations of all parties. With combined efforts, we should promote the innovation and development of an international metrological system, encourage international mutual recognition for metrology, facilitate trade liberalization and contribute to the sustainable development of regional economies and societies.
-- II. Basic principles
Opening-up and cooperation. We should call for the broad participation of the competent metrological departments of each government, metrological institutions, stakeholders in metrology, the general public as well as international and regional organizations in order to steer the international cooperation in metrology in the direction of increased openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefits
Mutual learning. We should encourage countries to learn from each other in terms of their experience in advanced metrological management, metrological science and technology and achievements in metrological development so as to complement each other, enhance mutual trust and realize common progress.
Mutual benefit and all-win. While respecting the variances in the metrological regulations of each country and giving comprehensive consideration to the collaboration needs and national interests of countries along the Belt and Road, on the basis of mutual communication and mutual agreement, we should seek cooperation methods to maximize the benefits of all the parties and endeavor to have the achievements of the cooperation benefit all the peoples.
Photo taken on May 12, 2017 shows a finished office building in the Belarus-China industrial park Great Stone near Minsk, capital of Belarus. (Xinhua/Wei Zhongjie)
-- III. Cooperation priorities
(I) Enhancing the communication and exchanges for metrological policies.
We should promote intergovernmental cooperation between competent departments in the field of metrology, build a multi-level intergovernmental metrological policy exchange and communication mechanism, strengthen consultation and coordination regarding relevant international affairs, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and reach new cooperation consensus. We should work toward building an information exchange and communication mechanism for the metrological field, enhancing the transparency of metrological regulations and realizing resource sharing among countries along the Belt and Road.
China will continue to improve the transparency of its metrological policies and avail itself of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms in order for the international community to be informed of China’s policies and updates regarding metrology in a timely, accurate and sufficient fashion. China is ready to work together with countries along the Belt and Road to build a platform for the sharing and quick retrieval of metrological information and to notify each other of information on certificates, organizations, personnel and supervision.
(II) Promoting international mutual recognition for metrology.
We should accelerate the process of bilateral and multilateral mutual recognitions for metrology, facilitate international mutual recognition of type evaluation results of metrological instruments and contribute to international metrological equivalence. We should jointly carry out the study on metrological systems of different countries, metrological comparison and international peer reviews so as to boost our mutual confidence in the capabilities of our metrological laboratories, facilitate mutual metrology recognition and remove trade barriers.
China will play an active role in establishing a mechanism for the arrangements of international mutual recognition for metrology, utilizing the positive effects of bilateral mechanisms, seeking converging interests between the parties based on the needs of each country, and constantly expanding the scope of mutually recognizing countries and mutually recognized products, with the final goal of realizing "one test, one certificate, accepted everywhere".
(III) Enhancing technological exchanges about metrology between countries.
We should enhance information exchange between countries’ institutions for metrological technology, especially national metrology institutes, in terms of strategic planning, scientific research and business development. We should establish effective cooperation mechanisms and conduct substantive cooperation efforts such as joint research and bilateral and multilateral comparisons. Personal exchange will be increased with reciprocal dispatch of visiting scholars. Advanced scientific and technological achievements will be shared. We should utilize state-of-the-art technologies to boost our national measurement capabilities and also work together to improve our sci-tech innovation capabilities.
China will create positive conditions to promote sci-tech personnel exchanges, offer technical training and verification and calibration services to the institutions for metrological technology of developing countries, help them with the training of technicians, support their capacity building and carry out technology transfer.
(IV) Increasing the capacity of metrological services.
All countries, based on their own development needs, should jointly deepen the integration of metrology and industries, improve metrological testing and enhance metrology’s capability to serve economic and trade development. With joint efforts, we should strengthen our in-depth cooperation in emerging industries such as new-generation biology, new energy, and new materials, tackle key scientific and technological problems and address critical metrological issues. We should adapt ourselves to trends in industrial transformation, step up our efforts in collaborative research and development regarding national metrological standards, encourage all national metrological institutions to provide wide-ranging metrological testing services and mutual aid, and devote joint contributions to and facilitate the sharing of all national metrology technology infrastructures.
China is ready to offer more metrological exchanges, consultation and training to countries along the Belt and Road and assist them in building enhanced metrological capacities. China calls on all the countries to deepen their cooperation in metrological testing technologies and work together to increase their capabilities to develop the metrological service industry and economy.
-- IV. Cooperation mechanisms
Establishing and perfecting bilateral cooperation mechanisms. We should make full use of the existing bilateral mechanisms, carry out multi-level and multi-channel communication and consultation, so as to boost comprehensive development of bilateral cooperation in metrology. China is ready to work with other countries to strengthen cooperation in metrology under the existing bilateral mechanisms, implement the outcomes of our previous cooperation, facilitate the signing of cooperation MoUs or plans, and coordinate and promote the implementation of cooperation projects.
Improving multilateral cooperation mechanisms. We should give full play to multilateral cooperation mechanisms, promote cooperation and dialogue on metrology among governments, call on countries to actively participate in activities by regional metrological organizations and in multilateral arrangements for international mutual recognition, fully consider the metrological demands of all parties and build an international cooperation system for metrology. China is ready to play a more active role in international and regional organizations and provide metrological aid to developing countries, with the aim of achieving common progress in the metrological undertakings of all countries.
Strengthening cooperation at industrial and local levels. The initiatives of industries, academies and relevant metrological parties should be brought into full play to participate in international cooperation. Under various arrangements of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, active efforts should be made to attract the participation of all relevant institutions. China will actively encourage local authorities to participate in bilateral and multilateral cooperation, conduct equal-footed cooperation and exchange within an overall cooperation framework, and utilize their locational and geographical advantage to promote regional cooperation and development.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China is ready to work with countries along the Belt and Road to seize the opportunity provided by the Initiative, inherit and carry forward the Silk Road spirit, continue to improve the content and methods of our metrological cooperation and promote mutual trust and mutual recognition in the field of metrology, with the aim of driving the development of the said countries and bringing the benefits of the Initiative to their peoples.