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Premier Li Keqiang sees science as catalyst for change

Zhao Yinan
Updated: Jul 28,2015 4:51 PM

Premier Li Keqiang delivered a keynote speech at a science and technology seminar on July 27 during which he offered his warmest congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the Academic Division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Premier Li also extended greetings to the academics at CAS and the science and technology research fellows throughout the country.

Prior to the speech, the Premier toured a photo exhibition depicting the history of the CAS Academic Division and its achievements in scientific research and strategic consultancy.

Sun Jiadong and Xie Yi, both academics, also addressed the seminar and the Premier responded to their suggestions. Premier Li said the CAS Academic Division has focused on the country’s strategic needs over the past 60 years and the academics of previous generations had been responsible for a number world-leading breakthroughs with their determination and ambition to empower the country, enrich the people and treat fame and wealth as distractions to their real work.

Premier Li said these academics contributed greatly to the improvement of China’s international strength and status. At this critical time of China’s restructuring and upgrading, the Premier said science and technology were the keys to surpass other countries in the science sector, overcome limits to natural resources and the environment and shift China’s economic strength. With those keys in hand, Premier Li said China can realize a deeper integration of science, technology and economic development and ensure the economy grows at a mid-to-high speed and with mid-to-high quality.

The Premier said the strategy of pushing forward development with innovation lies in scientific innovation, which should be placed at an essential position in the overall development of the country. To that end, he said China has to better use scientific innovation and core expertise as well as grassroots wisdom and knowledge to create a new momentum of public innovation. The Internet Plus strategy will attract talent, and nurture a good social environment for scientific advancement, ensure the industrialization of scientific achievements and strengthen China’s development, he said. Thousands of people are striving toward an independent and fulfilling life by starting their own businesses, he added.

Premier Li pledged to better integrate science and technology with public innovation and said that the breakthrough of key technology should be accompanied by the transformation from scientific outcomes to productivity. For that purpose, Premier Li said, first, China has to push forward reducing bureaucracy while stepping up government supervision. Second, to build an innovation platform based on the Internet Plus strategy to encourage public innovation and public fundraising, and third, to make good use of its talent by showing respect to knowledge to build a team of expertise.

The Premier said the CAS is the national team and think tank of China’s science development and he hopes the academics will continue to become the forerunners in scientific development while nurturing the young and promoting the spirit of science among the public.