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Cooperation, not division promotes global scientific progress

BEIJING, Sept. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A report from Science and Technology Daily:

On July 31, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters aboard his Air Force One that he planned to ban the popular video-sharing app TikTok from operating in the United States.

In an attempt to hold back China’s scientific and technological advancement, the Trump administration has imposed unwarranted sanctions on Huawei and TikTok. By launching the so-called “Clean Network” program, it is actually building a digital barrier and fragmenting the global Internet to seek selfish development at the expense of other countries.

Throughout human history, advances in science and technology have always resulted from consistent and concerted efforts. Any progress builds on previous achievements, and requires interdisciplinary cooperation between different countries.

A century ago, a British physicist suggested hydrogen-helium fusion could be the primary source of stellar energy. The theory was confirmed by a German scientist about 20 years later.

In roughly the same period, New Zealand and Australian physicists realized the fusion of deuterium into helium, opening the way for present-day fusion research. Meanwhile, more than six decades ago, the first tokamak (a magnetic confinement device) was developed in the Soviet Union to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.

On July 28, ITER — the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor opened its assembly in southern France, ushering in a phase of the massive project searching for the ultimate energy source.

Progress achieved in the ITER Project is attributed to the unremitting exploration by scientists around the world for a century. As Isaac Newton put it, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

It is international cooperation that enables humanity to resolve major scientific issues. A total of 35 countries, including China and the U.S., are participating in the ITER Project, since any country alone cannot afford the substantial investment involved.

Similarly, the first direct image of a black hole was captured last year thanks to coordination among observatories around the world.

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, more people have come to realize that no country can be immune from such a common threat.

However, the U.S. has willfully quit organizations and incited division in pursuit of digital and technological hegemony. Such moves threaten global scientific progress and the common interest of humanity.

Global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss are becoming increasingly severe. Only through close cooperation and major scientific advances can the international community overcome a potential grave crisis.

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