Breakthroughs confirm China's rise as a global high-tech player

By Ma Si, Ouyang Shijia and He Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-20 07:27

Breakthroughs confirm China's rise as a global high-tech player

The COMAC C919, China's first domestically produced large passenger aircraft, made its maiden flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in May. [Photo/Xinhua]

Outstripping competition

According to Nature, China now boasts more researchers than the United States, outspends the European Union in research and development and "is on track to best all other nations in its yearly production of scientific papers".

Bai, from CAS, commented: "Important scientific work has mushroomed in China in recent years. It is the result of years of research and development. Policy guidance, financial support and continued efforts to deepen reform have all played parts in stimulating this vitality."

More important, according to analysts, scientific research has been efficiently commercialized, with China pouring large sums into the latter stages of the R&D process, during which discoveries are turned into products.

High-speed rail has been one of the most impressive areas of progress. In recent years, China has built the world's largest high-speed rail network and become a world leader in providing globally competitive high-speed products and services.

By 2020, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, which manufacturers the country's high-speed trains, is expected to supply new bullet trains with a maximum operating speed of 400 kilometers per hour to markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative. The new trains will also cut per passenger energy consumption by 10 percent, compared with trains that run at 350 km/h.

"Over the past few years, China has demonstrated its competitive edge in high-speed rail technology," said Wang Mengshu, a railway expert and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Navigating the future

After it was confirmed that Beidou, the homegrown navigation satellite system, covered the entire Asia-Pacific region in 2012, several more satellites were launched, enabling wider applications in logistics, aviation, precision farming and other industries that demand high-accuracy positioning.

Earlier this month, for the first time, Beidou was used to guide a Chinese-developed regional jetliner as it successfully completed a test flight at an airport in the eastern province of Shandong.

The flight demonstrated that Beidou's performance is on a par with similar systems produced overseas and meets internationally advanced levels in transient and quick positioning index, according to the plane's manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.

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