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China aims to accelerates innovation push in 2024


China is setting its sights on accelerating innovative development in 2024, aiming to modernize its industrial system and cultivate new quality productive forces at a faster pace.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang outlined key tasks for achieving this goal in the government work report he delivered on behalf of the State Council at the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress on Tuesday.

The concept of new quality productive forces is a new approach to productivity that emphasizes the crucial role of science and technology in driving growth and nurturing the development of strategic emerging industries.

Specifically, the tasks for 2024 include upgrading existing industries and supply chains, fostering new and future-oriented sectors like hydrogen power, new materials, bio-manufacturing, commercial spaceflight and quantum technology. 

They also include promoting the development of the digital economy and launching an AI Plus initiative to integrate artificial intelligence technology across various sectors.

China's future growth will no longer rely solely on traditional factors like labor and capital; instead, technology and data will become the primary drivers, reshaping the industrial landscape, Wang Dan, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank China, told CGTN.

According to Wang, pursuing innovation is not just about economic development, but also about achieving "technological sovereignty" in an increasingly competitive global environment. "Technological sovereignty" refers to a country or region's ability to have control and autonomy over its technological development and application.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology Yin Hejun highlighted China's significant strides in original innovation, citing advancements in fields like quantum technology, integrated circuits and artificial intelligence.

He also pointed to the successful launch of the world's first fourth-generation nuclear power plant and the C919 large aircraft, showcasing China's growing technological prowess.

Yin emphasized that scientific and technological innovation not only enhances the competitiveness of traditional industries but also lays the foundation and fuels the development of new quality productive forces.

Latest data shows this progress, with the National Bureau of Statistics reporting a steady increase in the GDP share of strategic emerging industries within China. This share has grown from 7.6 percent in 2014 to over 13 percent in 2022 and is projected to exceed 17 percent by 2025.

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