Oversight work was also focused on efforts to make China an innovative country. The Central Committee attaches great importance to scientific and technological progress and independent innovation. The State Council formulated the Outline of the National Long- and Medium-Term Program for Scientific and Technological Development. The Central Committee and the State Council held the National Conference on Science and Technology last year and introduced the goal of making China an innovative country by 2020. The Standing Committee investigated compliance with the Patent Law and heard, deliberated and approved work reports by the State Council on special subjects such as increasing the country's capacity for independent innovation and strengthening protection of intellectual property rights. Members of the Standing Committee made three proposals to address the problems of the weak contribution domestic advances in science and technology make to economic growth, the high reliance on foreign technology and the inadequate level of funding for R&D.
First, we need to integrate resources. We need to speed up development of a system for technological innovation in which enterprises play the leading role, the market plays a guiding role and enterprises, universities and research institutes work together. We need to initiate a beneficial cycle of capital and technology and accelerate the conversion of advances in science and technology into actual production to constantly increase the contribution domestic advances make to economic growth.
Second, we need to identify key areas. We need to focus on the main battleground of economic development, carefully decide which battles to fight and which not to fight, concentrate resources and increase funding for major projects of strategic importance to the overall situation, and encourage technological innovation through government policy to make breakthroughs in key areas and achieve leapfrog development.
Third, we should attach great importance to development of human resources. We need to create an excellent environment in which outstanding personnel can rise to the top and all personnel can fully play their parts by improving mechanisms and systems for developing and concentrating human resources and encouraging outstanding personnel. The State Council last year introduced fiscal, tax, financial and government procurement policies to encourage independent innovation and launched a group of key state science and technology projects affecting overall development. The Supreme People's Court reinforced judicial protection for intellectual property rights.
Oversight work was focused on building a conservation-minded and environmentally friendly society. On the basis of work carried out over the past few years, the Standing Committee strengthened follow-up and oversight work concerning resource and environmental issues.
First, while investigating compliance with the Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, the Standing Committee followed up and investigated compliance with the Law on the Prevention and Control of Solid Waste Environmental Pollution and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution. The Committee listened to, deliberated and approved the reports of the State Council on the current state of China's waters and efforts to prevent and control water pollution. It also followed up and reported on progress in improving environmental conditions in key localities and enterprises through activities such as the China Environmental Protection Program.
Second, the Standing Committee investigated compliance with the Energy Conservation Law and listened to, deliberated and approved the report of the State Council on the work of rationally utilizing, protecting and managing mineral resources, focusing on improving energy conservation in industry and construction. Members of the Standing Committee pointed out that although the State Council and local governments adopted a series of measures and did a great deal of work, it is difficult to fundamentally solve the longstanding problems of an inefficient pattern of economic growth and an unfavorable economic structure in the short term, that it would be extremely difficult to meet the targets of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP in 2006 by 4% and reducing the emission of major pollutants by 2%, and that the task of building a conservation-minded and environmentally friendly society is daunting. We must truly change our approach to development, make innovations in our development model, improve the quality of development, make changing the pattern of economic growth a strategic focus, accelerate economic restructuring, put the focus of work on improving reserves, launch technological upgrading that gives high priority to saving energy, reducing consumption and protecting the environment, develop a circular economy, promote independent innovation and truly make economic and social development more scientific. (More)