A vision for deeper cooperation between Europe and China
On January 25, 2019 ASD-STAN TA Chairman Bill Holler had the very rare opportunity to speak to the Chinese government directly. As one of few selected Foreign Experts in China he was invited to the 2019 Spring Festival Foreign Experts Meeting in Beijing. The meeting took place in the impressive historical building “Great Hall of the people” which is the main official reception and meeting place of the Chinese Government.
As one of only few speakers our TA Chairman had the opportunity to deliver a speech upon the invitation by Wang Zhigang, China’s Minister for Science and Technology. In his speech (which is attached to this report) Bill Holler emphasized the opportunity to establish a “Belt and Road for Aviation” by achieving harmonized Aerospace related standards for Europe, Russia and China. He mentioned the importance of the world’s largest market for Aerospace and how to best combine our efforts using the possibilities of establishing common Aerospace standards.
This speech was greeted with high interest already before it was delivered officially. On the day before the event, a Journalist of a Chinese Magazine “International Talent” performed a long interview about these proposals. Exceptionally well prepared the lady asked about details that were related to these contents.
For example, she did not know that the metric system was invented in China many centuries ago. But she liked the fact that the only three countries in the world who do not use the metric system are: Liberia, Myanmar and The United States of America.
And she also appreciated the importance of common standards to enable developing new markets and why this will be important for our common Aerospace Industry.
In the afternoon the meeting was continued in the presence of the Prime Minister Li Keqiang and several ministers of the Chinese Government. Li Keqiang in his speech underlined the importance of cooperation between China and the Foreign Experts on different areas. The Aerospace Industry was one of those important areas.
Among the the Foreign experts of various countries were also several Nobel Prize winners. One of them was especially fascinating, it was Andre Geim, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material Graphene”. Whereas today this material (a 2-dimensional form of graphite) may still be unknown to many, it will pave the way to totally new products and applications. In 2013 the EU has decided to support the development of Graphene with 1 Mrd. Euro.
The CCTV (Chinese TV) recorded this reception for the National News but too bad for several selfie-addicted participants (like Bill Holler), mobile phones or private cameras were not allowed during that event with the Prime Minister. Therefore no photos of the conversation between Li Keqiang and Bill Holler exist. However, Bill Holler noted the excellent English that the Prime Minister spoke and his sincere interest in the common development of the Aerospace Industry.
The event ended with a dinner invitation during which all the beauties of Chinese Cuisine were served. Anyone who knows Chinese dinners will understand that there was no chance to try all of it when the dinner came to its quick end.
All in all, this was a perfect opportunity to underline the importance of Standardization in Aerospace and how it can help to commonly develop this huge market.