Science Innovation to Enjoy Priority

The Chinese Government is determined to give priority to scientific and technological innovation in order to ensure a rapid and healthy economic development in the coming years, said Xu Guanhua, minister of science and technology of China.

That is also a necessary strategy to face up to the opportunities and challenges accompanying China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Xu on Thursday in Shanghai at a special session on China, as part of the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit.

The present worldwide new technology revolution will spur China to strengthen its capabilities in innovation and key high-tech areas, according to the minister. Highlights in that regard include research and development activities on new computer operating systems, CPU chips, functional gene groups, biomedicine, high-speed magnetic suspension technology and electric vehicles.

"A more open and easy environment will help breed great scientific and technological achievements, and foster Chinese scientific giants," Xu noted.

To achieve that goal, Chinese scientists are being encouraged to carry out "curiosity-driven" research and also basic research. Effective patent strategies will also be implemented to bolster inventions in high-tech and industrial technology areas.

As supportive measures, new evaluation and incentive systems will be set up to stimulate original innovation.

Meanwhile, China will rely more on high technologies to transform and upgrade traditional industries, such as the development of modern irrigation technology, advanced manufacturing technology and new products of traditional Chinese medicine, said Xu.

Information technologies are expected to play a greater role, with anticipated breakthroughs in some core technologies, such as microelectronics, software, Web and information security, as well as high-performance computers.

(China Daily October 19,2001)

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