The COVID-19 pandemic had plunged the world economy into a severe contraction in the past three years. Although China has faced many difficulties, it has enjoyed a faster economic rebound than other major economies and has shown strong momentum for development in some aspects. This momentum is evident in global data rankings in areas such as education, innovation and people's healthcare, etc.
China highly values education and sees higher education as a key factor in the country's modernization path.Over the years, an increasing number of Chinese institutions have joined the top tiers of the university ranking. In 2015, China had only three universities in the Top 100 and 18 in the Top 500, while in 2023, the numbers have risen to 6 and 28 respectively.
According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, in general, the universities in Chinese mainland climbed in the latest global university rankings, with Peking University rising from 44th in 2012 to 12th place, and Tsinghua University leaping from 48th to 14th place. This year, China occupies two of the top three positions in the Asian University Ranking.
Over the past decade, China has witnessed rapid scientific and technological progress and gradually transformed into an innovation powerhouse. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Chinese mainland has risen to 11th place on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022, up 24 spot from its ranking in 2013, marking its 10th consecutive ascent.
"The close attention paid by the government and the country to innovation as an engine of growth is paying off," said WIPO Director General Daren Tang at the press launch of the GII 2022.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has embarked on the strategy of innovation-driven development, advanced reform of the science and technology system, and strengthened basic research. Just as stated in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress: "Innovation will remain at the heart of China's modernization drive."
On March 7th, the State Council unveiled a plan to reform its institutions. One of the most notable changes is the restructuring of the Ministry of Science and Technology. While facing stiffer global sci-tech competition, alongside the containment policy from the United States, the reformed ministry could achieve breakthroughs by better allocating resources to overcome difficulties in developing key and core technologies, ensuring the country to move faster towards self-reliance in the field.
There is no doubt that in the future China will let innovation play the key role as an engine for quality growth, and to work with the international community in order to achieve common prosperity.
When it comes to the health level of Chinese people, it is equally admirable. Chinese people have been living longer and healthier lives over the past decades. Some key health metrics have kept improving even during the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to World Population Prospects, life expectancy has risen steadily in China. The average lifespan rose from 76.97 years in 2015 to a record high of 78.78 years in 2023 – an increase of almost two years., China's maternal and infant mortality rates reached historic lows. China has also been making continuous improvements in its medical system. In the government work report submitted to the national legislature for deliberation last week, China vows to improve elderly care services and refine policies supporting childbirth.
To better satisfy people's needs, more quality medical resources will be channeled to the community level. Healthcare determines the quality of life, and China is firm in its efforts to foster longer and healthier lives for it.
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