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Innovation always makes a difference

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-18 07:47

Innovation always makes a difference

The list of the four great new inventions of China was created by teenagers from more than 20 Belt and Road countries. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

EXPATS FROM SOME 20 COUNTRIES along the Belt and Road routes listed high-speed railways, online shopping, Alipay, the mobile payment service of e-commerce giant Alibaba, and bike-sharing, as China's "four great modern inventions", according to a recent survey conducted by Beijing Foreign Studies University. Yanzhao Evening News commented on Tuesday:

The four great inventions of ancient China-the compass, gunpowder, papermaking and printing-had a huge impact on human civilization. Their modern "counterparts", in which many Chinese citizens take great pride, have the potential to be game changers at least in how people shop, travel, and commute.

Although the so-called four modern inventions did not originate in China, that does not mean Chinese companies are not innovation-minded. Quite the opposite, they have done a great job in innovation on what has been developed in other countries to be where they are thus far. With regard to services including e-commerce and bike-sharing, a number of emerging Chinese enterprises have become either trailblazers or leaders.

The ever-changing global situation highlights the fact that consistent innovation is a necessity of modern life. China has seized the window of opportunity by initiating a new round of reform and opening-up, which deserves much of the credit in terms of the thriving internet-driven economy and industrial innovations.

From a follower to a global leader, the country is once again at the crossroad of technological and industrial reform. The "four modern inventions" are no doubt a major inspiration, but more are needed to enhance China's innovative capability.

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