Xi Jinping stresses science and technology for economic development

Scientific and technological solutions are needed for China’s economic and social development, and the improvement of people’s livelihoods, more than ever before, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when chairing a symposium of scientists on the development of science and technology during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period.

The 14th Five-Year Plan period will be the first five years of China’s new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and march toward the second centenary goal.

Historical achievements and revolutions in science and technology have been made since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, Xi said, and China has taken innovation as the primary driving force for development.

Noting the fight against COVID-19, the president expressed thanks to scientific and technological workers for their efforts in the research and development of treatments as well as vaccine development, prevention and control, and works in other important areas.

He highlighted the urgency and importance of accelerating scientific and technological innovation to better promote development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period and beyond.

Xi stressed several aspects in further developing science and technology, such as improving the environment for science and technology innovation to stimulate creativity, setting up national laboratories to form China’s laboratory system and tackling core technologies in key areas.

Universities and colleges should play an important role in scientific research, the president added, highlighting the importance of training innovative talents. Increasing investment in basic research and providing necessary policy support in fiscal, financial and tax fields are also important, he said.

Efforts are needed to unleash the huge potential of innovation by deepening reform of the science and technology system, Xi noted, calling for efforts to strengthen international cooperation, integrate into the global innovation network and enhance capacity for scientific and technological innovation through open cooperation.