Address at the Press Conference on October 16, 2007
Party Secretary and Vice Minister
Ministry of Science and Technology, P. R. China
In the five years since the convening of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the country has made remarkable achievements on all fronts, and the advancement of science and technology has been impressive. With Comrade HU Jintao as the General Secretary, the CPC Party Committee highly values scientific progress and innovation. With vision and a sound evaluation of current circumstances, the Committee has made a major strategic decision for China to embark on a path of innovation with her own characteristics and build herself into an innovative country. The Outline of National Medium- and Long-term Science and Technology Development Plan was promulgated, presenting a comprehensive blueprint for the scientific development from 2006 to 2020. Over the past five years, China has been committed to following the scientific concept of development in an all-round way and implementing the strategy of rejuvenating the nation with science and education, and empowering the nation with talents. Thanks to those efforts, the country¡¯s scientific strength has been increasingly enhanced and the indigenous innovativeness upgraded. The scientific undertaking has entered an important stage of making marvelous strides.
It is also in the same period that China become home to a considerable number of scientific findings in the fields of manned space flight, super hybrid rice, high performance computer, to name just a few. Breakthroughs were attained in basic research and frontier technology research. Moreover, China is much more capable of original innovation, being a front-runner in terms of international paper publications and invention patent applications. The country is making headways in developing major technologies and equipment by herself and the scale of her high-tech industry is ever growing. Science and technology is playing a bigger role in underpinning China¡¯s economic restructuring, solving problems of agriculture, countryside and farmers, stimulating social development and improving people¡¯s well-being.
There are 35 million Chinese people engaged in S&T activities, making China the largest country in terms of S&T human resources. The input to S&T has increased continuously, reaching 300.3 billion RMB yuan in 2006. The S&T expenditure as percentage of GDP has jumped from 0.9% in 2000 to 1.42% in 2006. With S&T institutional reform, the national innovation system has witnessed rosy development. Enterprises have played a greater role as the main actor of technology innovation, with universities and research institutes giving input to innovation as pillars. Regional innovation has been rather active, bolstering and providing impetus for socioeconomic development in different regions. New ways have been explore for in-depth international S&T cooperation in larger scope.
Since the National Science and Technology Conference, governmental agencies at all levels have devoted considerable efforts to following up the Conference, accomplishing tasks defined in the Outline of National Medium- and Long-term S&T Development Plan (2006-2020) , designing supporting policies, and creating an innovation-friendly environment. In this way, a new era has emerged for enhancing innovation and building an innovative country. All these achievements are attributed to the sagacious leadership of the Central Party Committee and the State Council, common efforts by all the local and ministerial departments, and hard work of all social quarters, especially the scientists.
At the same time, we should be widely aware of existing deficiencies: the gap between China and developed countries in terms of S&T development; indigenous innovativeness yet to be strengthened and appropriate mechanisms to be developed. We have another S&T long march to undertake. It is the glorious mission of our age and historic responsibility on our shoulders to embark on an indigenous innovation path with Chinese characteristics with a view to building an innovative country. We have every reason to believe in the bright future of China¡¯s science and technology, and be confident about ranking China among innovative countries by 2020.
¡ª¡ªChina¡¯s S&T Development in the Last Five Years
Ministry of Science and Technology of China
Since the 16th National Congress of Communist Party of China, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, led by General Secretary Hu Jintao, has paid great attention to scientific and technological progress and innovation, and made a major strategic decision to take an innovative road of Chinese characteristics in order to build an innovation-oriented country. China¡¯s S&T activities have produced commendable achievements, with a greatly enhanced S&T strength. China¡¯s S&T development has entered an important booming stage, with a rapidly increasing impact on the world S&T development. China¡¯s S&T development has rendered a powerful support to economic and social development and national security, to the full-fledged construction of a well-off society, and to the advancement of socialist modernization drive.
1. Significantly enhanced capacity of basic research and frontier technological innovation. Over the last 5 years, China¡¯s basic research has harvested an array of major innovative achievements that are original in nature. China¡¯s international papers rank the 4th in the world in terms of its total number, accounting for 7% of the papers cited by three major international search systems, including SCI, EI, and ISTP, which places China on a par with the UK, Germany, and Japan. The number of China¡¯s papers ranks the first on nanoscience and nanotechnology and second on engineering in the world. China has made breakthroughs in a number of frontier areas, narrowing down the gap with the world advanced levels. China has become a leader in such frontier areas as non-linear optical crystal, quantum information telecommunication, super strong and short lasers, and high-temperature superconductivity. Major commendable innovative achievements include manned space flights, super hybrid rice, high performance computers, super large integrated circuits, and international standards for 3rd generation mobile telecommunication.
2. A range of breakthroughs in innovative industrial technologies. In recent years, China has witnessed a raised technological innovation capability in basic industry, processing and manufacturing industry, and emerging industries. China has enjoyed a sustained outpour of key technological innovation in the areas of petroleum, iron and steel, ship building, electronics and information, advanced equipment manufacturing, and biotechnology. China has raised its capability in developing key technical equipment, with a significantly enhanced level of set equipment making and engineering integration. These efforts have rendered powerful support to the construction of numerous major national projects, including Three Gorges hydroelectric project, west-to-east electric power transmission, west-to-east natural gas piping, south-to-north water diversion, and Qinghai-Tibet railway.
3. Science and technology have embraced and benefited people¡¯s in their daily life. In recent years, the Chinese government has attached great importance to people¡¯s wellbeing and public good causes. S&T progress has provided a powerful support for numerous areas, including population and health, energy efficiency and emission reduction, climate change, disaster prevention and preparedness, and public security. The breeding and application of hybrid rice, and the implementation of S&T projects for increasing food production, have provided important support for addressing the issue of food security. China¡¯s energy sector has rolled out a range of key technologies for oil and gas exploration, large coal liquefaction facilities, large hydroelectric power equipment, and advanced nuclear power stations. It has also produced key technologies for new energy, including fuel cell, wind energy, and bio-energy, creating a ground for readjusting energy composition and energy security. Important advances have been made in the prevention and control of major diseases and infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, SARS, and highly pathogenic bird flu. The successful development of new drugs and new advances in traditional Chinese medicine, has provided an important guarantee for raising people¡¯s health level.
4. A significantly raised output level of intellectual property rights. Over the last 5 years, China has enjoyed a sustained fast growth of domestic invention patent applications and China¡¯s capability in creating intellectual property has been strengthened. During the period of 2002-2006, China¡¯s domestic invention patent applications have gone up from 39,700 to 122,000 in number, with domestic invention grants from 5800 to 25,000. Along with the establishment and improvement of the nation¡¯s intellectual property rights system, overseas¡¯ invention patent applications received by China Patent Office, have also increased annually . In 2006, China¡¯s invention patent applications ranked the 4th in the world.
5. A sustained fast growth of high-tech industry. In the last 5 years, China¡¯s high tech industry has sustained an average annual growth rate of 27%, or 6.5 % higher than that of the 9th Five-Year Plan period. The total output value of high-tech industry has gone up from 14.5% to 16% as a proportion of the manufacturing industry. In 2006, high-tech businesses have produced an output value of RMB 4.1322 trillion, or 2.7 times that of 2002. China¡¯s import & export of high-tech products reached USD 528.8 billion, or 3.5 times that of 2002. China¡¯s optimized trade structure has enhanced its international competitiveness.
6. National high-tech parks have become an important powerhouse for S&T innovation and regional economic development. In 2006, the national high tech parks have produced a revenue and output of RMB 4.3 trillion and 3.6 trillion respectively. These parks have gathered half of the high-tech businesses and S&T incubators in the country, with an R&D investment that is 1/3 of the nation¡¯s total. Enterprises in the parks now hold 32,600 invention patents, and created an industrial added value worth of RMB 852.05 billion, or 9.4% of the nation¡¯s industrial total. In the first half of 2007, the national high tech parks have realized a business revenue of RMB 2.58918 trillion, an industrial output of RMB 2.18732 trillion, an industrial added value of RMB 502.16 billion, and export revenue of USD 96.7 billion.
7. Sustained increase in S&T input and intensity. In 2006, China has registered an S&T expenditure of RMB 450 billion, and an R&D expenditure of RMB 300.31 billion, ranking the 5th in the world. China has enjoyed an increasingly enhanced intensity of investment in research and development, reaching 1.42% as a percentage of GDP. In the last 5 years, China¡¯s state treasury has maintained a fast annual growth of its investment in S&T activities by 17%. The central government has secured an S&T appropriations worth of RMB 100.97 billion in 2006, or 25.0% up compared with the preceding year.
8. China has become a major power of S&T human resources in the world. In 2005, China had an S&T workforce of 35 million people, ranking the 1st in the world. In 2006, China¡¯s full time personnel engaged in research, experiment, and development reached 1.5 million person/year. A contingent of young and middle aged S&T personnel is growing fast. China¡¯s young and middle aged researchers under 45 years of age have taken up 80% of the research contingent. China¡¯s universities have a student population of 23 million, making the country the largest in the world for S&T personnel training and education.
9. Major advances achieved in building a national innovation system. Along with continued deepening of S&T system reform, industry has become a key player in technological innovation, while universities and research institutes have played an enhanced role in S&T innovation. In 2006, China¡¯s industrial R&D expenditure reached RMB 213.45 billion, or 71.1% of the nation¡¯s R&D total. Industrial enterprises have rolled out an array of technological findings and results. Non-government S&T businesses have increased from some 7,000 two decades ago to about 150,000 in 2006. China¡¯s universities now have an R&D population of 227,000 people who have produced numerous important innovative findings, including genes of senescent human cells, next generation Internet demonstration projects, and domestic silkworm genome. China¡¯s research institutes have enjoyed a noticeably enhanced innovation capacity, while application and R&D oriented research institutes are strengthening their market oriented innovation capacity. Public good research institutes have also enhanced their innovation capacity. The knowledge Innovation Project initiated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences has harvested innovative results, and has become an important force for building a national innovation system.
10. China¡¯s international S&T cooperation has been further strengthened, both in width and depth. Up to date, China has established S&T cooperation ties with 152 countries and regions around the world, and inked 102 intergovernmental cooperation accords with 96 countries, plus a total of . over 1,000 cooperation agreements, establishing a fairly complete governmental and multilateral international S&T cooperation framework. In order to utilize international S&T resources, China has become part of numerous large international projects, including ITER, Galileo satellite navigation system, Global Earth Observation System, Dual-Satellite Space Probe project, Human Liver Proteome Project (HLPP), and international cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine. China has joined some 350 international S&T organizations, with 206 Chinese scientists taking up leadership positions at various levels.