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Chinese scientists expect better development of quantum science and technology

(Xinhua)    11:41, October 21, 2020

BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese leadership recently held a group study session on quantum science and technology, impressing the country's scientists a lot.

The quantum scientists believe that development in the field, relying on the integration of multiple disciplines and technologies, is in dire need of top-level design.

At the group study session, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed the importance of strengthening strategic planning and a systematic layout for the development of quantum science and technology, as well as grasping the general trend and making strong first moves.

It is necessary to strengthen strategic research and judgment, enhance confidence in innovation, have the courage to tackle hard tasks, improve top-level design and develop a forward-looking layout to organize and implement long-term major projects, and strengthen interdisciplinary integration and integrated innovation in multi-technical fields, said Xi. He said these steps were necessary to systematize the country's quantum science and technology.

"Quantum science and technology is a strategic field related to national security and high-quality development. We must hold its innovation and development firmly in our own hands," said Pan Jianwei, a renowned quantum scientist from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).

An independent sci-tech innovation system requires a strategic layout covering the whole chain from basic research and application and technology development to industrialization, which depends on long-term accumulation, said Pan, also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The ability to integrate superior resources systematically through top-level design and a forward-looking layout at the national level is therefore necessary.

The country is establishing a national lab for quantum science and technology, Pan said in an article published in Science and Technology Daily.

He said the lab will be the best platform to realize collective innovation and the interdisciplinary integration of multiple technical fields by coordinating talent, bases and projects. It will open a new page for the long-term and healthy development of quantum science and technology in China.

With nearly 20 years of development, China has achieved a series of breakthroughs in this field, including multi-photon entanglement and interferometry technology, quantum anomalous Hall effect research, the world's first quantum satellite, a 2,000-km quantum communication line between Beijing and Shanghai, and the world's first optical quantum computing machine prototype.

Whether coordinating innovative elements in the field, forming a high-level talent team, or promoting the integration of industries, universities and research institutes, full play needs to be given to the advantages of the country's socialist system by pooling resources to deal with major problems, said Pan, who has led most of the major quantum projects in China.

Xi noted at the session that efforts should be made to improve the speed and efficiency of transforming quantum theoretical research into real applications.

"The speech is an important weathervane for those of us engaged in the field," said Guo Guoping, a USTC professor and deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Quantum Information under CAS.

Guo led the founding of Origin Quantum, China's first quantum computing company, and served as its chief scientist. He said the development of quantum technology should be application-driven and guided by the needs of users.

Pan said the applications of quantum technology include quantum communication, quantum computation and quantum precision measurement.

It is necessary to speed up the development of quantum communication technology for the next-generation wide-area network and further expand China's edge in the field, said Pan.

Meanwhile, the establishment of standards based on security evaluations should be pushed forward, so as to promote their application in fields like national defense, government affairs and finance, he said.

For quantum computing, Pan suggested potential users should be involved to discuss near and long-term applications.

China needs to build a first-class support platform to make quantum precision measurement breakthroughs in fields such as navigation, medical examination and scientific research, and develop important measurement equipment.

At the session, Xi also stressed the importance of enhancing international cooperation in quantum science and technology.

Xue Qikun, a CAS academician and vice president of Tsinghua University, delivered a lecture on quantum science and technology at the session and put forward a series of opinions and suggestions.

He noted that Xi looks at the issue not only from the perspective of China but also from the perspective of China's contribution to human development and the promotion of global sci-tech development.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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