He Zuoxiu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the government should increase its input in scientific and technological undertakings to boost the economy.
Insufficient spending on science and technology affects the country's innovation capability and its economic growth, said the academician, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China' s top advisory body, now having its annual session in Beijing.
He noted that China's expenditure on scientific research accounts for only one percent of the GDP, compared with about three percent in developed countries.
Statistics show that the number of academic papers written by Chinese and published overseas ranked the eighth in the world. However, China's overall scientific and technological competitiveness ranked the 28th among 47 countries and regions.
"Despite our achievements in many research fields, we have had few leading advancements, and almost none strategic breakthroughs in highly competitive high-tech fields," the scientist said, adding that both the State Natural Science Award and the State Technological Invention Award have had no first-prize winners for four consecutive years.
He proposed that more money be spent to raise the scientific and technological attainments of youngsters, and attract outstanding people studying or working abroad back home.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2002)