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By Enrico Balli.

Last July I was invited to represent EUSEA at “The belt and road” International Science and Technology Exchange (Manzhouli) Forum organized by Inner Mongolia Association for Science and Technology and Manzhouli Municipal People’s Government.

After a long (very long!) journey, I landed at the Manzhouli airport, where Ms. Teng and Mr. Sun were waiting for me and some other international guests.

The Forum was organized to accelerate the building of the Belt and Road, especially strengthen international science and technology cooperation between China and adjacent area, optimize communication mechanism and enhance the friendship of the people.

The participants were from China, Mongolia and Russia, therefore Chinese, Russian and Mongol were the official languages: all the talks were translated into the three languages, I and a few western guests were provided with English translation.

After the greetings from the authorities and a warm welcome from the organizers, the forum was split in two sub forums, one about the traditional Mongolian medicine and the traditional Chinese medicine, the second about youth science and technology education.

It was an interesting experience, I have to say that everybody was extremely interested in the European way to manage many different aspects of science education beside the formal school system. After my tals, focused on the use of science and technology to mitigate the school dropout, a long queue of teachers was waiting to ask me several questions. The interpreter was really valuable, since most of them could not speak English. Many of the teachers have sent me emails after I came back to Italy, and we are still in touch, even if the language is still a problem. I hope that this will be the beginning of a distance discussion that can last in the future.

The organizers have also brought us to visit some of the interesting educational facilities of the Province: the Hulun Buir Nationality Museum, with lot of historical information about the region, and the Children’s Discovery Museum, an old style (compared to the European standard) science center.

The last visit was at the Matryoshka Doll Square, where an unbelievable number of Russian Dolls of every imaginable size are on display.

I have to thank the Inner Mongolia Association for Science and Technology and especially Ms. Teng and Mr. Sun for the wonderful hospitality and the nice opportunity to meet so many interesting colleagues from China, Russia and Mongolia. I hope to have the opportunity to work with them again.

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