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Innovation key driver of country's sustained high-quality development

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-24 20:34

Researchers adjust a humanoid robot at an AI laboratory on Jan 31, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

With a new round of technological revolution gathering pace and heralding seismic global transformations, it is imperative that China harness its science and technology forces to foster innovations.

President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of the development of the country's science and technology sector on many occasions, saying that innovation has always been the primary driver of the country's development. This has been verified by what China has achieved over the past more than four decades.

Given the situation that the United States is trying to block the exports of advanced technologies and products to China to contain the country's rise, the country now needs to place even greater reliance on its own science and technology strengths.

The suppression, blockades and sanctions have motivated China to intensify its efforts to tackle key problems in science and technology with the country treading an independent path without excluding international cooperation.

China is not given enough credit for how far it has come as an innovator, but it still has far to go. That is why Xi once again emphasized the development of new quality productive forces and underscored the importance of innovation in his remarks at the national sci-tech conference, which opened in Beijing on Monday.

To these ends, the country's mechanisms must be reformed to make it easier for research institutes to attract talent and for talented researchers to devote themselves to their work. It is not just the pursuit of breakthroughs in specific technologies but also innovations in the way talented researchers and technology personnel are cultivated that are needed.

That necessitates innovations in the way science and technology work is organized and managed so that bureaucracy and red tape do not hinder the country's science and technology endeavors.

China has a political system that makes it possible for the central government to mobilize resources nationwide to accomplish strategic science and technology projects and a vast market that demands a nimble approach to the commercialization of ideas. Both of which have been demonstrated by China's leading edge in many new energy technologies and new energy vehicles.

Yet further reform is needed in various fields to create an environment in which national resources can be mobilized in a more efficient manner, and the mobilized resources can be used in the most efficient and effective manner to catch up in science-based innovation in industries such as specialty chemicals, semiconductor design and branded pharmaceuticals, where the country still lags behind the developed countries, despite significant investment.

The country needs to build an innovation system that integrates science and technology, education, industries and the financial sector, and upgrade its industry chains, to sustain its development and advance its modernization. Hopefully, the conference will see the academicians make meaningful suggestions and opinions to advance these goals.

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