BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's Minister of Science and Technology held talks Tuesday with Bill Gates in a bid to boost strategic cooperation between China and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in modern agriculture and the health industry.
Endeavors in agriculture include developing high-quality, cheap crops, while in the health industry the focus is on biological medicines and vaccines. The products are expected to benefit developing countries and regions such as China, South Asia and Africa.
Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, said the joint efforts of the two sides has important strategic significance, as the cooperation will support research institutions and hi-tech enterprises in China and related countries to progress in sci-tech and transform research achievements into products.
Cooperation in those fields will lead to important contributions in the development of humanity by addressing global food security and environmental protection, Wan added.
Gates, co-chair of the Foundation, said that a rapidly-growing China can play a key role in alleviating poverty and famine by promoting innovation through the country's sci-tech edge in modern agriculture and the health industry.
Improvements in agriculture will lead to increased crop yields that can potentially alleviate poverty in the world's undeveloped regions, especially in Africa, Gates added.
The cooperation is based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two sides on Oct. 26 in Seattle. The MOU states that based on the principles of mutual respect and complementary advantages, the two sides will cooperate through a joint work committee and cooperative fund mechanism.