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Premier stresses basic research for innovative development

Updated: Dec 07,2020 09:03 PM

Efforts should be made to enhance basic research and application-oriented innovation with new development concepts to build China into an innovative country, Premier Li Keqiang, also head of the National Science and Technology Leading Group, said at a meeting of the group on Dec 7.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, attended the meeting.

Innovation is the primary force driving development, Premier Li said while hearing a report on advancing scientific and technological innovation.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), he said, China accelerated its pace to build an innovative country and implement the innovation-driven development strategy, with a boom in major scientific and technological outcomes and new industries and business models.

At the same time, the Premier noted, China should be keenly aware of its weaknesses in sciences, basic research and original innovation, and some key technologies.

To solve those problems, the new development stage must further highlight the role of scientific and technological innovation in breaking through development bottlenecks and building new development advantages, the Premier said.

He urged following the new development concepts to form a new development pattern, and putting more focus on basic research and application-oriented basic research.

He also called for stimulating innovation vitality through reforms, and deeply integrating science and technology into economy to boost the country’s technological strength and high-quality development.

To promote innovation in science and technology, Premier Li said, more work should be done on basic and applied research, and focus put on original and revolutionary innovation in major scientific issues.

While making good use of the fiscal fund, universities, research institutions, and enterprises should be encouraged to raise input through multiple channels to increase the share of basic research spending, Premier Li said.

He also called for improved treatment for those in basic research, and encouraged them to explore more findings with a tenacious spirit, and the nation will provide more support to mathematics and other basic disciplines.

The market promotion of research achievements also should be strengthened, he said, to provide support to employment and economic development and further progress in research.

Promoting scientific and technological innovation should follow scientific laws and better arouse the activeness and creativity of researchers, the Premier said.

He said that continuous administrative reform in tech fields will break unreasonable management rules and regulations, and offer researchers more autonomy.

The achievement evaluation mechanism should be improved to replace the assessment that solely relies on papers, said the Premier. He also called for a scientific research competition system to allow young researchers to assume more important tasks.

Unreasonable restrictions should be removed and social forces should be introduced in major scientific and technological projects, the Premier said.

It is necessary to see China's gaps with the world's advanced levels in basic and applied research, he said, calling for international cooperation in fields that are difficult to start from scratch.

He said efforts should be focused on breakthroughs in major core technologies, adding that an earnest attitude is especially needed in scientific research.

Vice-Premiers Sun Chunlan and Liu He, State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Xiao Jie, and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended the meeting.