From 24 until 27 May 2016, a delegation from Ghent University visited the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in China. An agreement was signed for the “Sino-Belgian Joint Laboratory for Geo-information” in the presence of H.E. Michel Malherbe, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to China and two other representatives from the Belgian Embassy; the Director General of XIEG, Prof. Chen Xi and several officials from different governmental departments in Urumqi, such as the Xinjiang Bureau of Foreign Experts, the Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Office and the Xinjiang Department of Science and Technology. The establishment of this Joint Lab is a direct outcome of the close cooperation between Prof. Alishir Kurban, Associate professor from XIEG and Prof. Philippe De Maeyer of our department. Furthermore, a first joint PhD diploma was rewarded and the delegation participated in meetings with local leaders of Xinjiang.