Xi sets targets for China's innovation

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Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses an event conflating the national conference on science and technology, the biennial conference of the country's two top think tanks, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the national congress of the China Association for Science and Technology, in Beijing, May 30, 2016. [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged greater commitment to research and application of science and technology as he made the remarks at an event combining 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) on Monday.

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

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.

Importance of innovation

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 decision-making 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 normal," 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.

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