Xi Jinping: China must strive for early breakthroughs in key technologies
Updated 10:40, 25-Aug-2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday that the country must improve its innovation capabilities and achieve breakthroughs in key and core technologies as soon as possible.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks at a symposium with economists and scholars in Beijing. The symposium was held as China prepares to make its next national development plan – the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025).

Xi underscored the importance of scientific and technological innovation in fostering new development drivers, adding that innovation-driven growth is necessary for achieving high-quality development.

Enterprises have a principal role in technological innovation, he said, calling for enhancing their role in integrating factors of innovation and commercializing technological breakthroughs.

Read more: Five-Year Plans map out China's future development

New opportunities, challenges in new stage

Nine experts spoke at the symposium, including Justine Yifu Lin, former senior vice president, and chief economist at the World Bank; Fan Gang, deputy head of the China Society of Economic Reform; and Jiang Xiaojuan, dean of the School of Public Policy and management of Tsinghua University.

After hearing their opinions and suggestions on making the 14th Five-Year Plan, Xi said China will enter a new development stage in the next five years after completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and thus accomplishing the first "centenary goal."

The CPC has set two centenary goals: By 2021, to celebrate the CPC's centenary, the goal is to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects; by 2049, the centenary of the People's Republic of China, the goal is to build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious.  

Therefore, in the 14th Five-Year Plan period, China will embark on a new journey to strive for the second centenary goal, Xi noted.

He analyzed China's new opportunities and challenges in the new development stage. The international economic, scientific and technological, cultural, security, and political orders are undergoing profound adjustments; meanwhile, China's domestic development environment is also experiencing profound changes, he said.

What the country faces now is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life, he added.

The president called for enhancing the awareness of opportunities and risks in the new stage. China should pursue a development mode with a higher degree of quality, efficiency, fairness, sustainability, and security, he stressed.

A view of the skyline in Beijing, China. /VCG

A view of the skyline in Beijing, China. /VCG

Greater emphasis on domestic market

President Xi elaborated on the need to create a new development pattern whereby domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay. He called it a "strategic choice" to reshape China's strengths in international cooperation and competition. 

China will continue with supply-side structural reform and further boost domestic demand, he said, adding that production, distribution, circulation, and consumption will rely more on the domestic market, he said. 

Nevertheless, Xi stressed that this new pattern is by no means a closed domestic circulation, but an open "dual circulation" with both domestic and foreign markets involved.

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Expert: China to develop itself in a more balanced way

He also called for deepening reform to invigorate new development. The market should play a decisive role in resource allocation, and the government should create a stable and predictable system for development, he said. 

Still, China should strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, he added. 

Though more emphasis will be put on the domestic market, Xi reiterated that opening-up remains China's basic state policy and an important driving force for the sustainable and rapid growth of its economy. 

China started soliciting public opinion on compiling the 14th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development earlier this month.

(Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, chairs a symposium on economic and social work in Beijing, China, August 24, 2020. /Xinhua)