China’s sci-tech innovation empowers high-tech development

(People's Daily Online) 17:49, December 03, 2021

A recently-concluded exhibition showcased a host of notable outcomes achieved in China that were enabled by sci-tech innovation in fields such as fundamental and cutting-edge technologies during the past five years.

Aerial photo taken on March 29, 2021 shows China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) at sunset in southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)

“China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) is similar to a ‘super microscope’, which can be used for studying the microstructure and movement of materials at an atomic scale,” explained a staff member at the exhibition. Since its successful commissioning in 2018, the CSNS has performed efficiently and stably, reaching the design target of 100 kilowatts a year and a half ahead of schedule.

China’s total R&D expenditure increased from 34.86 billion yuan (about $5.47 billion) in 1995 to 2.44 trillion yuan in 2020, statistics have indicated. Meanwhile, the country’s expenditure on basic research, a fundamental part of the scientific system, rose from 2.9 billion yuan in 1998 to 150.4 billion yuan in 2020.

Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Key Basic Research Program of China, China made major breakthroughs in basic research fields such as quantum science, iron-based superconductivity and dark matter particle explorer (DAMPE) satellites.

In the past five years, China made great strides in its scientific and technological innovation capabilities, with its investment into basic research accounting for more than 6 percent of its R&D input for the first time. The country has also witnessed major achievements made in fields ranging from stem cells and synthetic biology to high speed railways and basic software development.

Thanks to an optimized industrial structure made possible by sci-tech innovation, China has gradually emerged as a manufacturing powerhouse. For instance, in recent years, China’s mobile communication and new medicine development sectors empowered by major special projects witnessed a remarkable development, with the number of high-tech enterprises now topping 270,000 nationwide in 2020.

In the same year, the country’s national high-tech zones generated 13.6 trillion yuan in output, accounting for 13.3 percent of national GDP. By comparison, from January to August this year, driven by their innovative capabilities, these zones achieved an operation income of 29.5 trillion yuan, an increase of 21.9 percent year-on-year.

In the next step, China will focus on promoting the development of the real economy, and advancing the transformation and application of scientific and technological achievements on a large scale, said an official from the Ministry of Science and Technology. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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