Xi: Build a country with blue skies
Updated: 2014-06-04 03:56
By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
President says innovation will lead the way in intensified efforts to protect environment
President Xi Jinping stressed on Tuesday the leading role of innovation in developing China into a country with a "blue sky" and "clear water".
"We take the strategy of innovation-driven development as a major national strategy," Xi said in a keynote speech at the 2014 International Conference on Engineering Science and Technology in Beijing.
Around 1,500 people from around the world attended the meeting, themed "engineering and the future of humankind".
"We'll intensify efforts to protect the natural ecosystem and environment, spare no effort to solve issues including the haze and work hard to build a beautiful China with a blue sky, green land and clean water," Xi said.
To realize the goal, the president said China's 42 million-strong talents in engineering and technology are "China's most valuable resources in exploring the future".
He used Yuan Longping, an agricultural scientist known for developing the first hybrid rice varieties in the 1970s and hence called "the father of hybrid rice", as an example of someone whose technological discovery changed China and the world.
Hybrid rice currently accounts for 57 percent of the rice planted in the country. The technology feeds more than 70 million people across the country every year.
It has also been widely used abroad, increasing outputs by 15 to 20 percent.
Yuan, who also spoke at the conference, has trained more than 30,000 technicians in more than 60 countries since the 1980s, and recently invented a hybrid rice species with an output of 14.9 tons per hectare.
Xi said the soul of engineering and technology is "openness" and called for various countries to share research achievements and enlighten each other.
He said China will be more open-minded in supporting international communication in that regard, including building up large relevant databases, networks and virtual research centers to share information, technology and resources.
Charlotte Brogren, director general of Vinnova, Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, said no single country can address the huge challenges facing humankind.
Brogren said one-quarter of the world's top 500 enterprises might disappear in the coming 20 years, and the major reasons will be missed opportunities to catch up with the tide of new technology.
Zhou Ji, president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, told the conference that China will focus on innovation in 10 major industries in the coming decade, including rail transit, electronic communications and aviation.
China last hosted the conference in 2000.