【专访系列】我对中国发展的看法-专访巴基斯坦籍地球物理科学博士Majid Khan

2023-08-23 | ZTA | |


From Dr. Majid Khan

With the door of reform and opening-up opening wider and wider, China has become one of the top destinations for talented people from other countries to start businesses and find job. Zhongguancun Talent Association (ZTA), as a world-renowned NGO in the field of talent services, has also recruited a number of foreign talent members in recent years, some of whom are very willing to share their stories of entrepreneurship and employment in China to objectively express their views about China. At the same time, they are also happy to give advice to talents from other countries to start businesses and work in China, and to offer suggestions and advice to local governments on support and services for foreign talents to find jobs and start businesses in China.
Based on such background, ZTA launched a series of interviews with foreign members. The topic of this series of interviews is: My views on China's development/experience and views on employment and entrepreneurship in China.
We are pleased to have Dr. Majid Khan, from Pakistan. Dr. Majid Khan is working as the full-time Foreign Faculty at the School of Civil and Resource Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB) since June 2020. He obtained his PhD degree in Geophysics from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. His research direction includes Applied and Exploration Geophysics, Engineering Safety Science, Mechanism of geological disasters in underground engineering, and regional geology. Dr. Majid Khan has won a very competitive and prestigious National grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China “Research Fund for International Young Scientists worth 200, 000 RMB in addition to several other ministerial projects and awards. He also won Excellent International Postdoctoral Fellowship (High-Talent Introduction Program) worth 600, 000 RMB (2020―2022). He has published over 45 research articles in highly reputed international journals and acting as the editor and reviewer of renowned international journals. Besides, his research contributions have gained worldwide recognition, leading to the selection of his work for esteemed honors and commendations. He had been awarded for Best Performance as the Vice President of Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), United States-Student Chapter for China region and currently acting as International Secretary of International Committee on Mine Safety Science and Engineering (ICMSSE). He chaired 2021 South-South Human Rights Forum; he passionately promotes the “Shared Community for All mankind”. He is actively engaged in science communication, fervently transforming intricate ideas into accessible concepts for the betterment of global humanity. He has been representing USTB in several live TV shows to support Science and Technology development and strengthening China―Pakistan bilateral relationship.  Let’s take a look at what Dr. Majid Khan will share with us about his views on China development.
Question 1: 
When did you come to China? Why did you choose your current job or field on entrepreneurship? What appeals you in Beijing?
Answer 1:
I arrived in China in 2014, I was honored to receive the prestigious TWAS Fellowship, a highly competitive award, which led me to embark on my Ph.D. studies in Geophysics/Earth Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The reason behind my choice of current profession lies in a long-standing aspiration that originated during my high school years. I've always nurtured a strong desire to become a scientist, driven by the conviction that through science, I can contribute to educating society, fostering a harmonious relationship between nature and humanity, and making basic scientific concepts accessible to the general public. This emphasis on science communication highlights its paramount significance. While working at the university, my present role offers a remarkable platform to actualize these aspirations. Teaching at the university, guiding students, and participating in academia empowers me to contribute toward building a peaceful, educated, and scientifically aware society—a critical component for global advancement. Furthermore, my academic research focuses on the prediction of geological disasters and the exploration of natural resources, including oil, gas, and minerals. This directly contributes to both the safety of humanity and the economic growth of China and the global community. The annual toll of lives lost due to natural and human-induced disasters underscores the pressing importance of accurate prediction and effective prevention strategies. By working in this field, I'm dedicated to making a meaningful impact in safeguarding lives and contributing to the sustainable development of both China and the world at large.

The ongoing loss of lives due to natural and human-induced disasters underscores the importance of creating accurate disaster prediction models and strong prevention methods. This is where my dedication comes into play. My efforts aim to make a real difference by saving lives and promoting sustainable development, both within China and worldwide.

Every year, a significant number of miners lose their lives in coal mines, resulting in economic and production losses due to induced engineering disasters. Additionally, natural disasters like the recent flood in Beijing and earthquake in Dezhou, Shandong, claim numerous lives and cause widespread impact. These distressing events reinforce the urgency of safeguarding humanity. In light of these challenges, my career path takes on a meaningful purpose. I find satisfaction in the knowledge that my job and field of expertise contribute positively. By educating society, promoting economic development in China, and playing a role in disaster prevention and mitigation, I am actively working towards enhancing the well-being of both individuals and society as a whole.

Beijing serves as a global hub for advanced education and research in various fields which aligns well with my academic and professional pursuits. Beijing's dynamic energy, opportunities for personal and intellectual growth, and the chance to immerse myself in a unique blend of tradition and progress make Beijing an appealing place for me. Also, its rich historical and cultural heritage combined with its modern vibrancy, ancient landmarks like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City with cutting-edge architecture and technological innovation, diverse culinary scene, offering both traditional Chinese cuisine and international flavors are the factors appealing to me.


Question 2: 
China has seen improving international entrepreneurs in recent years. How do you feel about starting a business in Beijing? What are difficulties in different periods?近年来,中国出现了越来越多的国际企业家。你对在北京创业有何感想?不同时期的困难是什么?

Answer 2:
Well, as we know that China has emerged as a significant contributor to global technological advancements and the realm of international entrepreneurship. Given my commitment to establishing a lasting presence in China, particularly in Beijing, I am inclined towards initiating a business endeavor. However, my initial focus lies in making substantial contributions to the progress of science and technology. As a young scientist with an engaging and profound research specialization, I am resolute in my belief that my role in science communication is imperative for societal advancement. With the accumulation of meaningful contributions to the scientific domain, I aspire to venture into the realm of technology innovation aimed at sustainable development. This future endeavor is envisaged to harmoniously amalgamate both scientific and business facets.

At present, knowing through my connections who are experienced in various sectors of entrepreneurships here in Beijing, it has come to my attention that certain industries are currently experiencing market saturation, compounded by communication challenges and an escalating focus on sustainability and environmental considerations. Consequently, this has prompted the implementation of stringent regulatory measures that may impinge upon specific industries. However, these restrictions or difficulties may change with time and influence business landscape.

Question 3: How have you learned about different laws and regulations on businesses and gotten license in China? Have you gained support from local ones?您是如何了解中国不同的法律法规并取得营业执照的?你得到当地的支持了吗?
Answer 3:
While I might not have an in-depth understanding of the specific regulations, it's clear that China, including both the government and the public, is enthusiastic about collaborating in entrepreneurship. This extends to foreigners, and the process of obtaining licenses is designed to support and encourage a thriving business environment.

Question 4: How do you view tech and digital economy progress in China in recent years? Are there opportunities and boons for you?您如何看待近年来中国科技和数字经济的发展?你有机会和福利吗?
Answer 4:
The progression of the tech and digital economy in China over recent years has been truly remarkable for which I am an eye-witness. China has witnessed a rapid transformation, evolving into a global technology powerhouse. This growth is evident across various sectors, including e-commerce, fintech, artificial intelligence, and 5G technology. In my opinion and also as evident, the digital infrastructure, innovative ecosystems, and government support have collectively contributed to this phenomenal advancement. From my perspective, these developments offer a wealth of opportunities. As an aspiring entrepreneur with a keen interest in technology and innovation, China's dynamic tech landscape provides an ideal platform for exploring new ventures. The market's openness to innovation, coupled with a growing demand for tech solutions, aligns perfectly with my goals. Besides, the collaborative nature and connectivity within China's tech community offer a rich pool of resources and networking possibilities. This enhances the potential for idea generation, innovation, and the successful execution of tech-focused business initiatives. Especially, for people like me, at present, there are lots of opportunities to promote my research, this support is generally provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (BNSF), and various relevant industries.
Question 5: 
How do you think of opportunities in the Chinese market? How have the market and Chinese consumers changed in recent years?你如何看待中国市场的机会?近年来,市场和中国消费者发生了怎样的变化?
Answer 5:
I see great potential in the Chinese market with its dynamic changes in recent years. Chinese consumers have become more tech-savvy, seeking quality products and innovative services. The use of artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and tailored marketing strategies have contributed to a more efficient and engaging interaction between businesses and consumers. Especially, the shift towards sustainability is noticeable, driving demand for eco-friendly options. Technology integration has personalized the consumer experience, creating opportunities for businesses to connect more effectively. This evolving landscape offers a promising platform for entrepreneurs like me to meet changing demands and thrive.

Question 6: 
China has been opening up various sectors and improving business environment. What are fields that need further improvement for you?中国不断扩大各领域开放,不断改善营商环境。你在哪些领域需要进一步提高?
Answer 6:
China's progress in opening up sectors and improving the business environment is encouraging. Even though, I don’t hold experience in entrepreneurships, however, I think expanding the market access for foreigners, foreign companies and better language support could be focused for further improvements.
Question 7: 
As social and economic activities resume this year, how have your businesses been? What are your future prospects?随着今年社会和经济活动的恢复,您的业务情况如何?你的未来前景如何? 
Answer 7:
Well, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I remained in Beijing, witnessing a notable surge in business activities as operations resumed. While not a business owner myself, I observed the successful hosting of national and international conferences and events, which bodes well for future prosperity. In my roles in academia and industry, I've had the opportunity to see these endeavors thrive, sparking my desire to engage in more international academic events to expand my professional network and foster collaborative projects between China and the global community, with a steadfast focus on advancing science and technology.

Question 8:
What are the reasons that you join ZTA(Zhongguancun Talent Association)and what kind of service do you expect from ZTA?您加入中关村人才协会的原因是什么?您对中关村人才协会的服务有什么期望?
Answer 8:
I'm joining ZTA because I know it has a large network of high-tech experts. My aim is to leverage this platform to expand my professional connections, enhance my capabilities in science communication, and establish links with high-tech companies and experts. I strongly believe that ZTA is a pivotal platform where I can discover many future opportunities for working together and moving forward. Furthermore, I hope to benefit from ZTA's resources for staying updated on the latest industry trends and advancements, which will ultimately aid in my pursuit of collaborative projects and mutual development.


Dr. Majid Khan的个人自媒体频道