Vice-Premier Li Lanqing highlighted the role of science, technology and education in realizing China's goal of building an overall well-off society in he near future.
Li also urged breakthroughs to be made in the reforms of medical and pharmaceutical fields as they are closely linked to the life of people.
He made the remarks in his study tour in Hebei Province, in north China, from November 13-16. During his tour, the official visited a number of local factories, schools, research bodies and medical institutions.
He also heard reports on local developments by provincial leaders, Wang Xudong and Niu Maosheng.
Facing the challenges and opportunities of the new century, international competition is focused on science and technology as well as on professionals, he said.
Li urged the speeding up of reforms of research institutions by allowing the institutions to operate more freely. He also called for greater investment in the education sector.
Referring to the current medical and pharmaceutical reforms, he noted that the reforms are aimed at providing people with less expensive and better medical services.
(People's Daily 11/17/2000)