Editor's Note: Who better than a Nobel Prize in Physics can assess China's "enormous" and "astonishing" scientific progress, especially in such an essential field as basic science? In this edition of Leaders Talk, CMG's Zou Yun sat down with David Gross, an American theoretical physicist and string theorist, and foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. Gross remarks that curiosity-driven research is a primary driver of progress, and he commends China for focusing on basic science, saying China should take a leadership role. A staunch supporter of collaborative endeavors and international cooperation, he is saddened by the current frictions between China and the U.S., noting that such a situation is "extremely dangerous and bad" for science. A keen reader of Liu Cixin's novel "The Three-Body Problem," Gross reckons popular science books provide inspiration. He tells Zou Yun that scientific exploration is above all a "gamble" and that luck plays a part.