Premier praises innovators

Updated: 2015-10-20 07:49

By Zhao Yinan(China Daily)

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People with ideas are the 'heroes of our time' who will drive further development, Li says


Premier praises innovators

Premier Li Keqiang talks with a domestically developed intelligent robot during a weeklong innovation expo in Beijing starting on Monday. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

When an official asked an intelligent robot for its ideas on Beijing's city planning at an innovation expo on Monday, Premier Li Keqiang thought the question might be too sophisticated. In a moment, however - and to the amusement of observers-the robot popped out a brisk answer: "Less traffic jams".

It was one of the many interesting interactions Li shared with hundreds of startup entrepreneurs at the opening of a weeklong event on innovation and entrepreneurship in Beijing.

Li made an impromptu speech encouraging the innovators and strolled among booths to hear their entrepreneurial stories and ask about the development of their businesses.

He pledged to leverage mass innovation to shake off excess capacity in traditional industries while pressing ahead with emerging sectors, such as high-value-added manufacturing and services.

"I wasn't planning to make speeches today, but I'm over-whelmed by the enthusiasm of the innovators. People in their own day have different heroes. Innovators are the heroes of our time," Li said.

He said educated Chinese are the largest potential driver for further development.

"Mass innovation provides China with a chance to shake off its resource-dependent development model and generate vitality with its vast reserve of human resources," he said.

Li also said the trend of starting one's own businesses was a fairway to improve one's living condition in China.

He visited the expo on the same day China posted its third-quarter GDP figures, which slightly beat expectations at 6.9 percent, according to data released on Monday. The growth of industrial output, however, decelerated to 5.7 percent in September from 6.1 percent in August, indicating deeper difficulties in the manufacturing sector.

The expo will last until Friday. Similar events are being held across the country in at least 10 cities, including Wuhan in Hubei province.