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Premier stresses helping more talents stand out

Updated: May 12,2021 21:42 PM

At a symposium on May 11 with high-level, highly skilled talents who receive government special allowances, Premier Li Keqiang stressed respect for science and knowledge, and helping more talents stand out.

The construction of socialist modernization should rely on talents and hardworking intelligent people, Premier Li said.

In the history of mankind, a country like China, with a population of 1.4 billion, has never achieved modernization, and there are many challenges, but a powerful force can be forged to drive modernization if the abundant human resources are fully used, he said.

Talents must be cared for and selected to help them come out in large numbers, he added.

Government allowance system shows care, respect for talents

"The implementation of the special allowance system indicates the direction from the Communist Party of China and State policies — respect for science, knowledge and talents," Premier Li said.

The mechanism, which began in 1990, was intended to show the Communist Party of China and the country's care for high-level experts, and promote the atmosphere of respecting knowledge and talents throughout society.

Zhang Jiping, a professor from the School of Mathematical Science at Peking University and an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said it was 100 yuan every month when he first started receiving the special allowance in 1992, which was more than half of his salary.

The government special allowance is the only allowance issued in the name of the State Council, the Premier said. It was to offset the gap between the talents' contributions and treatment, he added.

"It proved that the mechanism has indeed played a great role in motivating intellectuals and top talents," said the Premier.

By the end of 2020, a total of 187,000 high-level and highly skilled talents have received the special allowances in 22 batches.

The Premier praised the allowance recipients for their pursuit of innovation and down-to-earth attitudes, as well as their contributions to economic and social development, and the promotion of Chinese traditional culture.

The allowance has been more about inspiration than material reward, but it has encouraged vast scientific researchers and highly skilled talents to devote themselves to developing the nation, he added.

Under the new situation, efforts should be made to further improve the talent incentive mechanism, pool wisdom and strengths, and push forward high-quality development to embark on a new journey toward a modern socialist country.

Spirit of science, craftsmanship both needed

The representatives invited to the symposium included not only high-level professionals engaged in math, history and medical research, but also senior technicians.

One of them was Wang Chong, a senior technician specializing in automobile technology training. After graduation from vocational high school 26 years ago, he was a sheet metal worker and has been engaged in motor maintenance. Another one was Li Pei, who is from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. During the past 30 years, he has devoted himself to agricultural plant resource protection and has become a senior technician.

Breakthroughs are needed in both basic research and professional skills in practice for China's science and technology to advance, Premier Li said. "While promoting the spirit of science in a practical and realistic way, we also should encourage craftsmanship in pursuit of excellence."

He stressed the importance of building up basic skills in talent cultivation.

"Learning Chinese history still involves reading a large number of classics on literature and history, and in order to carry forward and spread outstanding traditional Chinese culture, one must conduct in-depth studies with a down-to-earth attitude and lay a solid foundation step by step," he said.

The Premier called for studying and mastering basic knowledge and theory, reading and inheriting classics on excellent traditional Chinese culture, and increasing support to basic research and long-term research.

Besides that, he said, it is also necessary to nurture talents who are able to provide products and services of superb quality.

"In the future, government special allowances should tilt toward the two aspects, to help promote the spirit of science, craftsmanship and professionalism across society, and to cultivate more talented people who strive for perfection and boast excellent skills," Premier Li said.

Promising young talents bring vitality to society

The current special allowance system calls for improvement to encourage more people to become talents, the Premier said, and the government should try to create a favorable environment for talents of all kinds to display their abilities.

Economic and social development requires a sound environment, conducive to both business and talent development, Premier Li said.

Further efforts should be made to promote administrative reform, as well as reforms in the educational system and scientific and technological system, eradicate unreasonable restrictions, and grant R&D teams with more autonomy, in a bid to let all talents focus on research.

"Preferential policies should benefit R&D staff, professional and skilled personnel, and the 1.4 billion people, the Premier said. "Ordinary people also have extraordinary wisdom, and that is why the Chinese nation stays energetic and resilient."

Wu Chen, a researcher from the National Cancer Center, suggested more opportunities for young scientists and technicians, and more R&D international exchanges.

Management modes on new-type research projects will be innovated, and platforms, credits, and incentives should be given to competent talents, the Premier said.

More outstanding young talents should be supported to take the lead in major scientific research tasks for more achievements.

"Young talents are the most creative. Society will maintain vigor as long as young people have prospects," the Premier said, adding that special allowance recipients should support their juniors, and scientists and highly skilled talents from the older generations could create a bigger space for their descendants.

He urged more international exchanges to learn about the excellent achievements of human civilization and enhance the ability to innovate and create through win-win cooperation.

"It's desirable to have a talent-cultivating environment jointly created by all social forces," the Premier said, "to usher in a trend of respecting science, knowledge and talents, tap each one's potential, and create a whole society brimming with innovation."