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Scientists in Pakistan and Sri Lanka bet their futures on China — Nature

Read more at Nature

Researchers are turning to China for support and collaboration as their countries take centre stage in the Belt and Road Initiative.

— by Ehsan Masood: It’s nearly 10 p.m. and a shopping mall called ‘Lucky One’ is buzzing in the heart of Karachi. In the ground-floor food court, throngs of extended families enjoy a night out before the start of the weekend, while a boisterous group nearby plots the future of science in Pakistan. Seated at a long table, a dozen Chinese and Pakistani researchers are talking about how they will collaborate on everything from studies of medicinal plants to the impacts of mountain tourism.

“I like it here. I’m excited,” proclaims Di Liu, a principal investigator who is visiting Pakistan from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Yan Wang, an early-career Chinese biochemist, nods vigorously. She likes it so much in the country that she decided last year to move there and set up a lab. Even a few years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine seeing international visitors at a public restaurant in a country laid waste by the international war on terror. But today’s Pakistan is relatively peaceful. And although European and US visitors are warned by their governments that this is a dangerous country to travel to, China’s scientists are flocking there…

May 1, 2019

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