Premier Li stresses basic skills, craftsmanship
Updated: January 26, 2021 21:30

Premier Li Keqiang said that as China becomes a middle-income country, craftsmanship and solid basic skills should be encouraged in all sectors.

He made the remarks on Jan 25 at a symposium on the draft government work report, the draft 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035.

Luo Jun, president of Sun Yat-sen University, said high school students’ foundation in mathematics, physics and chemistry should be strengthened. After the reform of the college entrance examination in some regions, some students are not willing to choose physics because it is a difficult subject.

That results in declining attention among students in physics, he said.

Premier Li responded that this issue is really important, as it affects development and innovation in science and the cultivation of researchers and high-quality talent.

Mathematics, physics, and other basic subjects, Premier Li said, should be highlighted in middle schools and universities to train more innovative talent.

He stressed that innovation is the primary force to drive development and talent is the ultimate source of innovation. He asked related departments to do more to encourage more people to devote themselves to basic research.

Fang Zhong, director of the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, also mentioned "basic research" in his speech. He suggested that great attention should be paid to young scientists’ growth, calling for stable and long-term policies to further support basic research.

Basic research still needs more attention despite the fact that people are increasingly concerned about it, Fang said, stressing the importance of institutional and systematic support for research fellows so they have more time dedicated to studies.

To encourage more research fellows to concentrate on scientific studies, the system and mechanism must be optimized for research fellows and institutes, and related policies should be fully implemented to further reduce their burdens, Premier Li said.

Tian Qinxin, head of the National Theater of China, said that although the performance industry has been impacted by the epidemic, good works are still welcomed by audiences and tickets sell out fast. Premier Li encouraged her to further hone basic skills in performances and to create more thought-provoking works.

"I hope you will continue to attract more audiences, and at the same time, work hard on the 'basic skills' in art creation with better content and more cultural inheritance and create greater social benefits," the Premier said.

Volleyball player Zhu Ting offered her advice on basic skills training. She said many players had no formal training in basic skills in their early years, which should be strengthened.

Premier Li urged further strengthening basic skills training for youth, which not only benefits the reserve sports talent, but also has huge significance on the nation’s health.

He said every sector has its basic rules. Grasping the basic rules with fine training in basic skills could not only consolidate a good foundation one sector but also help understand related ones.

Whether in science, education, culture or sports sectors, basic skills training is the guarantee for high achievement, Premier Li said.

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