Premier Zhu Rongji has highlighted the importance of implementing the strategy of developing the country through science and education, and expediting scientific and technological progress and innovation.
His remark came at Tuesday's opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), when the premier delivered the Report on the Work of the Government.
Zhu said that China will accelerate the establishment of a state innovation system; concentrate on strengthening basic research and research in high and new technology of strategic importance and improve the capability of independent innovation; upgrade industries and increase their competitiveness; and strengthen research and development of key technology and widely applicable technology and accelerate the application of research results to production and their dissemination.
According to the premier, China will set up new and improve existing mechanisms to encourage venture investment and provide incentives for scientific and technological innovation.
China will further reform the management system for science and technology and deepen the reform of applied research institutes and non-profit research institutes.
Departmental and regional barriers will be removed to rationally allocate research resources in society in order to form a management system for science and technology that integrates government departments, local authorities, institutions of higher learning and enterprises.
China will develop philosophy and social sciences and focus on research on topics of long-term, strategic importance, and topics that affect the overall interests of the country. China will effectively protect and manage intellectual property rights.
Zhu called for continuing to give priority to the development of education. The government will intensify its efforts to improve quality-oriented education and strengthen ideological and political work at schools in order to help the students improve their moral qualities, intellectual ability, physical fitness and aesthetic appreciation, he said.
China will strengthen basic education and consolidate and expand the achievements the country has made in making nine-year compulsory education basically universal and eliminating illiteracy among young and middle-aged people in rural areas.
The government will pay particular attention to quickening the pace of making nine-year compulsory education universal in poverty-stricken areas and areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups, according to the premier.
China will extend the reform of the management system for rural compulsory education under which county authorities assume main responsibilities. The government will make sure that teachers are paid in full and on time.
He said that senior secondary school education will be vigorously expanded, adding that China will steadily develop regular higher education by adjusting the division of disciplines.
China will make great efforts to develop secondary and higher vocational education; reform the curriculum and teaching materials, updating instruction content and improving the quality of teaching; continue to promote the reform of the internal management system of institutions of higher learning and commercialize their support services.
The ideological level and professional competence of teachers should be raised in an all-round way, he stressed.
China will accelerate the application of IT to education and develop modern distance education. The government will increase its input in education and encourage, support and standardize the running of schools by non-governmental sectors or by Chinese-foreign cooperation.
The premier also called for earnestly implementing the strategy of tapping human resources. The government will adhere to the guiding principle of making the ranks of cadres more revolutionary, younger in average age, better educated and professionally more competent and the principle of having both political integrity and professional ability, he said.
According to the premier, the government will accelerate the training and selection of outstanding personnel, especially those who are well trained in high technology, international finance, accounting, trade, law or modern management in order to meet the new needs of reform and opening up and the modernization drive.
China will deepen the reform of the personnel system related to cadres to improve their selection, appointment, evaluation, incentives and supervision, Zhu said.
The government has to become adept at identifying young promising scientists and technicians and boldly give them responsible work, he said, calling for giving full play to the role of engineers, technicians and skilled technical workers.
In income distribution, the government will implement the policy of letting technology, management and other essential factors of production have a rightful share. Scientists, technicians and senior managerial personnel who have made outstanding contributions shall be rewarded.
He pledged to take still more effective measures to attract and employ well-trained personnel from abroad and encourage Chinese students studying overseas to return home and work in China.
(People's Daily March 5, 2002)