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China recognizes prominent scientists, stresses innovation

Updated: Jan 8,2016 8:50 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China honored a group of domestic and foreign scientists with state awards for their outstanding contribution to the country’s scientific and technological progress on Jan 8.

The prize winners were presented with certificates by President Xi Jinping at an annual ceremony held to recognize distinguished scientists and research achievements.

Other state leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang and Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, also presented awards.

When addressing the ceremony, Premier Li stressed that innovation should be placed at the very core of the overall national development to maintain medium to high-speed economic growth and march towards medium to high-level development.

Premier Li vowed to nurture new drivers of economic growth while upgrading traditional industries.

“We must step up implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy,” the Premier said.

China will carry out new scientific and technological projects, establish more national labs, innovation centers and other infrastructure for scientific research, nurture a number of innovation-oriented enterprises with international competitive power and build pilot bases for mass entrepreneurship and innovation, he said.

He highlighted the need to make good use of the market to reduce overcapacity and connect traditional industries with the Internet.

The Premier underscored measures to further liberate scientific talents, reform the income distribution system to spur innovative spirit and give more power to higher learning institutions on talent cultivation.

Premier Li also vowed to tap into social forces such as enterprise and the public to encourage innovation. “Limitless wisdom resides in the 1.3 billion Chinese people; more than 100 million of them have higher education, which is our greatest innovative resource and advantage,” said Premier Li.

He mentioned new ideas like crowd sourcing and crowd funding in the Internet age to promote innovation, asking governments at all levels to streamline administration, cut red tape and help people raise money for innovative projects.

Premier Li noted that China must embrace the outside world to make the best use of resources both home and abroad, enhance international cooperation and take the lead to initiate major scientific research projects.

China needs to revolve around the construction of the “One Belt and One Road” initiative to help more Chinese technologies and products go global, and make China a world innovation hub, said Premier Li.