Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday that innovations were key to the country's development, at a conference attended by more than 1,200 esteemed scientists and engineers.
They attended the biennial conference of the country's two top think tanks with research capacities, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), advising the government and industries on key scientific and technological issues.
More innovations would be needed as the country transformed its development pattern, restructured the domestic market and boosted domestic demand, Hu spoke to the conference.
The country's current situation not only brought tough challenges but also provided great opportunities to nationwide scientists and engineers, he said.
To fuel economic growth, the key was to foster "home-grown" innovations and achieve significant scientific and technological advance through efforts of the Chinese scientists and engineers, Hu said.
The president asked top scientists and engineers to focus on looking for solutions to major global challenges and ways to free up China's development bottlenecks as the country modernizes.
The country should also set up a "more scientific, vigorous and efficient" mechanism to boost innovations, so as to solve urgent problems that had been choking innovations, he said.
The president encouraged the top scientists and engineers to find and train more promising researchers of younger generations and provide a favorable academic environment for their research careers.
Meanwhile, he said he expected the members of both academies to keep academic integrity and professional ethics, and avoid any academic fraud.
Also present at the opening ceremony of the conference were other state leaders Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang.
During the conference, the CAS will elect a new presidium supervising all its divisions and members of special academic committees as well as confer the letters of appointment to the new foreign associates.
The CAE members will discuss a report on how to improve the CAE management and also confer the letters of appointment to the newly-elected members and foreign associates.
The CAS has six divisions with 723 Chinese members and 64 foreign associates, while the CAE has nine divisions with 774 Chinese members and 41 foreign associates.
(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2012)