The United States is seeking to extend its existing Science and Technology Agreement (STA) with China, the US State Department said on August 23. The agreement, signed in 1979 when Beijing and Washington established diplomatic ties and renewed every five years since, is set to expire on August 27, 2023. “This short-term six-month extension will keep the agreement in force while we seek authority to undertake negotiations to amend and strengthen the terms of the STA. It does not commit the United States to a longer-term extension,” a State Department spokesperson told Reuters. Washington said that the agreement provides consistent guidelines for scientific collaboration between governments, and in its absence, each agency would need to negotiate separate arrangements with Beijing. Over the past four decades, China and the US have signed more than 30 protocols and deals on health, engineering, climate change, and environmental protection, under the framework of the agreement, according to China Daily. [Reuters]