Xi sets tar­gets for China’s science, tech­nol­ogy mas­tery

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT BEI­JING—Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping set the tar­get of China be­com­ing a lead­ing power in science and tech­nol­ogy (S&T) by the mid­dle of this century as he ad­dressed a ma­jor S&T con­fer­ence on Tues­day.

China should es­tab­lish it­self as one of the most in­no­va­tive coun­tries by 2020 and a lead­ing innovator by 2030 be­fore re­al­iz­ing the ob­jec­tive of be­com­ing a world-lead­ing S&T power by the cen­te­nary an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China in 2049, Xi said.

He made the re­marks at an event con­flat­ing the na­tional con­fer­ence on S&T, the bi­en­nial con­fer­ence of the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chi­nese Academy of Engi­neer­ing (CAE), and the na­tional con­gress of the China As­so­ci­a­tion for Science and Tech­nol­ogy (CAST).

The con­fer­ence, chaired by Premier Li Ke­qiang, was also at­tended by se­nior lead­ers Zhang De­jiang, Yu Zheng­sheng, Liu Yun­shan and Wang Qis­han.

Xi, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, stressed the role of S&T as a bedrock upon which “the coun­try re­lies for its power, en­ter­prises rely for suc­cess, and peo­ple rely for a bet­ter life.”

“Great sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pac­ity is a must for China to be strong and for peo­ple’s lives to im­prove,” he said, call­ing for new ideas, de­signs, and strate­gies in science and tech­nol­ogy.

China now ranks among the world’s most ad­vanced coun­tries in some im­por­tant fields in S&T de­vel­op­ment, Xi said.

The coun­try is in an im­por­tant tran­si­tional stage from quan­tity to a leap in qual­ity, and from break­throughs in lim­ited ar­eas to an im­prove­ment in over­all ca­pac­ity, he said. The pres­i­dent hailed in­no­va­tion as an im­por­tant force in pro­mot­ing de­vel­op­ment of a coun­try as well as mankind.

“It won’t do with­out in­no­va­tion, nor will it do if the in­no­va­tion is car­ried out slowly,” Xi said. “We could be thrown into an un­fa­vor­able sit­u­a­tion and miss op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ment — or miss an en­tire era — if we fail to rec­og­nize changes, re­spond to changes and in­no­va­tively seek changes,” he added. It is “an in­evitable choice” for China to im­ple­ment its strat­egy of in­no­va­tion-driven de­vel­op­ment, Xi said.

This strat­egy aims to en­sure China’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing power for its own de­vel­op­ment, im­prove its core com­pet­i­tive­ness, ac­cel­er­ate ad­just­ment of its de­vel­op­ment pat­tern, solve deep-rooted prob­lems, bet­ter guide eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the “new nor- mal,” and main­tain sus­tain­able and healthy eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, Xi said.

In seek­ing to be­come a world-lead­ing S&T power, China aims to speed up S&T in­no­va­tions in all fields and seize the ini­tia­tive in global S&T com­pe­ti­tion, Xi said. Speak­ing at the event, the pres­i­dent listed five pri­or­i­ties for in­no­va­tion. Stress­ing the pri­or­ity of de­vel­op­ing cut­ting-edge science and tech­nol­ogy, Xi said China should strive to take a lead­ing role in S&T re­search.

To this end, the coun­try should have a global vi­sion, es­tab­lish de­vel­op­ment strate­gies in a timely man­ner, be con­fi­dent in in­no­va­tion, and be known for orig­i­nal the­o­ries and dis­cov­er­ies, he said.

Xi also called for ef­forts on launch­ing key projects to cre­ate a world-class re­search net­work. “Cur­rently, the state needs the strate­gic sup­port of science and tech­nol­ogy more ur­gently than ever be­fore,” said the pres­i­dent.

The CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee has out­lined the na­tion’s long-term sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal strate­gies by the year 2030, and de­cided to roll out a large num­ber of S&T projects, he noted.

He en­cour­aged sci­en­tists and tech­ni­cians to re­spond to the coun­try’s ma­jor strate­gic de­mands, strive to ad­vance re­search into core tech­nolo­gies and move up to the world’s S&T “high ground.”

To be the world’s ma­jor S&T power, the state will have to cham­pion first-class in­sti­tutes, re­search-ori­ented uni­ver­si­ties and in­no­va­tion-ori­ented en­ter­prises. This will also sup­port the au­thor­ing of a sub­stan­tial amount of orig­i­nal re­search, said Xi.

More­over, the pres­i­dent stressed the role that sci­en­tific re­search plays to bol­ster over­all eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. In the process of ad­vanc­ing the sup­ply-side struc­tural re­form and im­ple­ment­ing the tasks of cut­ting over­ca­pac­ity and ex­cess in­ven­tory, de-lever­ag­ing, re­duc­ing costs and ad­dress­ing points of weak­ness, more ad­vances in in­no­va­tion are needed, Xi said.

Pub­lic S&T ser­vices should be in­creased, so that the peo­ple can en­joy a more liv­able en­vi­ron­ment, bet­ter health care and safer food and medicine, he added.

Re­form­ing science man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism was an­other pri­or­ity the pres­i­dent listed in his speech. He stressed that the govern­ment will try to form an en­er­getic science man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism through deep­en­ing re­form and in­no­va­tion, while con­tin­u­ing to bet­ter al­lo­cate re­sources and eval­u­ate re­search find­ings.

Xi said the coun­try will pro­vide big­ger sup­port for tech com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially small and medium firms, and re­or­ga­nize re­search in­sti­tutes and uni­ver­si­ties. The coun­try also plans to cre­ate a few cities or re­gional cen­ters that are at­trac­tive to out­stand­ing in­no­va­tion in­dus­tries. “Our big­gest ad­van­tage is that we, as a so­cial­ist coun­try, can pool re­sources in a ma­jor mis­sion,” the pres­i­dent said.

Xi also stressed the es­tab­lish­ment of a rich tal­ent pool of sci­en­tists with global vi­sion, and en­trepreneurs and tech­ni­cians good at in­no­va­tion.

He promised to re­spect the cre­ativ­ity of sci­en­tists and sup­port free and bold sci­en­tific ex­plo­ration. “Sci­en­tists should be al­lowed to freely ex­plore and test the bold hy­pothe­ses they put for­ward,” Xi said. He promised to grant lead­ing sci­en­tists more power and lib­erty to de­cide upon the di­rec­tion of their re­search, and greater man­age­ment of re­search funds and re­sources.

The govern­ment’s duty is to draw up strate­gies and work out plans, and en­act poli­cies and of­fer ser­vices, he said. It is also im­por­tant to raise the sci­en­tific lit­er­acy of the whole of so­ci­ety to re­lease the cre­ativ­ity of 1.3 bil­lion Chi­nese, Xi said.

He urged CAS and CAE aca­demi­cians to con­trib­ute their wis­dom when the coun­try is mak­ing ma­jor and long-term poli­cies on science and tech­nol­ogy and to set ex­am­ple for younger sci­en­tists.

The CAS and CAE should also play a bet­ter role as the coun­try’s premier S&T es­tab­lish­ments, lead­ing other in­sti­tu­tions in the right di­rec­tion.

In ad­di­tion, the pres­i­dent urged the CAST to bet­ter serve sci­en­tists and help raise peo­ple’s sci­en­tific lit­er­acy. or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sent­ing Pa­puan re­sis­tance groups to be given full mem­ber­ship of a re­gional trade and se­cu­rity body. A low-level in­sur­gency has sim­mered for decades in re­source-rich Pa­pua, with Jakarta keep­ing a tight grip on the re­gion through a heavy mil­i­tary and po­lice pres­ence.

Pa­pua po­lice chief Paulus Water­pauw said that around 300 peo­ple, some in tra­di­tional tribal dress, were briefly de­tained as they were demon­strat­ing in Jaya­pura, the cap­i­tal of Pa­pua province, and sev­eral other cities with­out a per­mit.—APP

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