China concentrates on sci-tech innovation

China Plus Published: 2017-10-09 09:07:39
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Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), talks with staff in the Urumqi ground station, in Beijing, capital of China, September 29, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), talks with staff in the Urumqi ground station, in Beijing, capital of China, September 29, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

A research report suggests China's new economy will account for an estimated 12 percent of the country's annual GDP this year.

Experts say China is on track to become a world leader in science and technology as its capabilities on research and development continue to improve rapidly.

CRI's Yu Yang has the story.

The report says the new economic sectors have been growing at a quite steady pace.

It predicts that among strategic emerging industries, such as new energy and advanced manufacturing, output would account for about 10 percent of total GDP in 2017.

The report says that China's economic development must rely on integration between innovation and industrial production, and work must be made to ensure that innovation progress was passed on to production.

Philip Coates, a professor at the School of Engineering of the University of Bradford, says China has committed an increasingly large portion of its GDP to research and development. 

"There has been much more investment in the academic groups. Many of my Western colleagues are very envious that we have such a good relationship with so many Chinese groups because the trajectory is definitely upwards. So it's great to be associated with something that is rising," said Coates.

Coates also speaks highly of China's efforts in seeking cooperation with other countries through projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative. 

"China has got plans and those plans are not simply to develop itself regardless, that China has plan that includes its friends that, and wants to make friends as opposed to make enemies. And I think you are right that if you are building roads, belts and bridges, then as I say, that is synonymous with a genuine cooperation and communication, and that is vital," said Coates. 

On Friday a 2,000-km quantum communication line was opened between Beijing and Shanghai.

Known as the Jing-Hu, or Beijing-Shanghai, Trunk Line, it connects Beijing, Jinan, Hefei and Shanghai.

The line is the world's first trunk line for secure quantum telecommunications. 

Paul Nurse, former President of the Royal Society, which focuses on biomedical research, has noted the major achievements China has made in quantum-communication satellites and human embryo engineering. 

"It's very interesting to see increasingly how science and technology is moving to the front in China. We have the satellite network using the quantum communication, for example. I think people were very much struck by that. In my own areas, in biological, biomedical science, we're seen interesting work having been done in early human embryos. We are doing actually also work similar to that institute, so we keep track of that," said Nurse.

Innovation is at the heart of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), which aims for China to become an "innovation nation" by 2020, an international leader in innovation by 2030, and a world powerhouse in scientific and technological innovation by 2050.

The latest Global Innovation Index shows China rose three places to 22nd on the list of the world's most innovative nations in 2017, the only middle-income country to join the top 25 innovative economies.

In 2016, China had over 1.1 million patents for inventions, ranking third after the United States and Japan. 

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