In 2016, a national strategy for innovation-driven development envisioned that by 2020, China would be a country of innovators with its own unique innovation system.
In 2020, the Global Innovation Index 2020 compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization and two other organizations ranked China 14th. In 2015, China had been in the 29th place. This is a testament to the progress in Chinese technological innovation.
The past five years have seen many breakthroughs. China's advanced technological capabilities now range from quantum information to iron-based superconductivity, from stem cell research to synthetic biology.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hi-tech development zones and enterprises played an important role in the resumption of production and helping stabilize the economy.
The structure of scientific and technological professionals has also improved, with an increasing number of personnel emerging and young scientific and technological professionals gradually becoming the main force in scientific research.
Science and technology are the bedrock of a country's strength, enterprises' success and better lives for people. During the past five years, China's research and development spending increased from $220 billion to over $342 billion, from 2.06 percent to 2.23 percent of the GDP.
But despite the significant progress in building a country of innovators, many of China's industries are still on the low to medium end of the global value chain. Some key and core technologies are still controlled by other countries, and developed countries still lead on many frontiers. China's innovation talent needs to grow more and the market environment and social atmosphere for innovation need to be improved.
This year, China has embarked on the journey to build a modern socialist country with Chinese characteristics by 2049, the centennial of the People's Republic of China, and modernization of science and technology is one of the key tasks.
Innovation-driven strategy is a potent tool for countries to win a competitive edge. Therefore it is a crucial national mission to endeavor to stand at the forefront of global science and technology innovation and make greater contribution to human progress. BR
(Print Edition Title: Leapfrog Development)