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Energizing innovation in South-to-North Water Diversion Project

China.org.cnUpdated: April 4, 2018

At this year's National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference sessions, the word "innovation" was mentioned 53 times in the government's work report. A highlight in the report was the sentence, "By bringing together myriad intellects and pooling everyone's energies, China will break into a sprint in innovation."

The work focus of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project has shifted to keeping the project running smoothly while improving its quality and efficiency. At present, in some work units, innovative talents are scarce and the motive for innovation is weak. For most of the staff, the problem is that they are willing to undertake routine work instead of putting efforts into invention and innovation. The idea of "doing less lessens the chance of mistakes, and doing nothing eliminates the risk altogether" still impairs our go-ahead spirit, as it will slow down our progress of innovation and eventually deprive us of the historical opportunity of development for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project.

To create the impetus for innovation, it is important to focus on our talent evaluation mechanism. If our goal is long-term development, we must respect our staff's innovative spirit and create an atmosphere that encourages innovation. On March 7, during president Xi Jinping's attendance in the panel discussion with NPC deputies from Guangdong province, he stressed that development is our first priority, talent is the primary resource, and innovation is the primary driving force. If we fail to create an atmosphere that boosts innovation, it is likely for us to fall into the trap of Gresham's law.

This year's government has pointed out that, to fully inspire our talents' initiative, we need to grant more human and financial resources to innovation groups and leading personnel. Meanwhile, we shall allow them to make their own decisions over technological development routes and directions. More flexible salary systems and incentive measures should be adopted to encourage research fellows who undertake important technological development programs. We hope this factor will also reflect in the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, and energize the spirit of innovation in our work in the project.