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China Economic Times Publishes Full-Page Theoretical Article by Chen Xiaohong, CAE Academician and Secretary of CPC HUTB Committee

2022-09-22 17:16:10

In Sept. 22, a theoretical article by Chen Xiaohong, CAE Academician, Secretary of CPC HUTB Committeeand Director of Xiangjiang Laboratory, was published on a full page of the column "Strive for a New Journey, Build a New Era -- Welcome, Publicize and Implement the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC)" in the theoretical weekly edition of China Economic Times, with the theme of "Great Practice of Xi Jinping's Economic Thought.” The full text of the article, entitled Uphold High-Quality Economic and Social Development Empowered by Innovation, is as follows:

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Abstract:

 

To implement the innovation-driven development strategy is to promote comprehensive innovation with scientific and technological innovation as the core, enhance the contribution of scientific and technological progress to economic growth, form a new source of growth drivers, and promote high-quality economic and social development.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core has continuously explored laws, deepened understanding and put forward a series of new theories and requirements for innovation and development. It has pointed out the new direction of firmly upholding independent innovation with Chinese characteristics and provided fundamental guidance for building China’s strength in science and technology.

The practice of innovation-driven development embodies distinctive Chinese characteristics and Chinese wisdom, and brings together a powerful force to promote high-quality economic and social development.

 

Innovation is the soul of a nation's progress, the inexhaustible driving force for a nation's prosperity, and the deepest national characteristic of the Chinese nation. At present, as the world's new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation continues to evolve, China's economic system is in a critical period featured by quality, efficiency and dynamic transformation. More than ever, we need to rely on innovation-driven development, accelerate the building of a modern economic system and promote high-quality economic and social development.Since the 18th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has delivered many important speeches on the in-depth implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy within the context of the implementation of the strategy of national rejuvenation.The speeches profoundly answered major theoretical and practical questions of innovation and development under the new situation. They are not only the latest theoretical achievement of independent innovation with Chinese characteristics but also the program of action for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and an innovation-oriented country. Innovation-driven development not only has a profound connotation of the times, but also has achieved fruitful practical results, which provides important experience and enlightenment for the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Profound Connotation and Implication of the Times of Innovation-Driven Development

 

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that innovation is an important driving force for the development of the country and its people, and scientific and technological innovation is the strategic support for improving social productivity and compositenational strength.To implement the innovation-driven development strategy is to promote comprehensive innovation with scientific and technological innovation as the core, be firm in the demand-driven principle and the direction of industrialization, be firm in upholding enterprises' principal position in innovation, give full play to the decisive role of market in resource allocation and the advantages of socialist system, enhance the contribution of scientific and technological progress to economic growth, form a new source of growth drivers, and promote economic and social high-quality development.

First, innovation-driven development is an inevitable choice for building a great modern country. In the 21st century, international competition in science and technology is becoming increasingly fierce. Facing the new global situation of scientific and technological and economic development, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the idea of an innovation-driven development strategy, He pointed out that innovation is the first driving force for development, promoting innovation is promoting development, and seeking innovation is seeking the future.The new round of sci-tech revolution and industrial transformation and China's accelerated transformation of economic development modeform a historic intersection, which provides a great opportunity for China to implement the innovation-driven development strategy. Domestically, China's social productivity, composite national strength and scientific and technological strength have reached a new level, but the problem of imbalanced, insufficient and unsustainable development is still outstanding. The reality requires us to firmly combine the demand and the problems, and take the needs of the people as the guide to accelerate the fundamental transformation from factor-driven and investment scale-driven development to innovation-driven development. To promote the synchronous development of the "four modernizations," we must turn to the track of innovation-driven development, better release the potential of scientific and technological innovation, and give full play to the role of scientific and technological progress and innovation. Therefore, we must strengthen the strategic supporting role of innovation-driven development in a modern economic system, overcome shortcomings in innovation ability, system and mechanism, and promote the deep integration of scientific and technological innovation and economic and social development. Those are the fundamental measures to solve the deep-seated contradictions in economic development and enhance the endogenous power and vitality of economic development, and are the inevitable choice for building a great modern country.

 

Second, innovation-driven development is an objective requirement for promoting high-quality development. The unsustainability of the traditional development mode requires China to change its development concept and mode to achieve coordinated, sustainable, green and low-carbon economic and social development. Accordingly, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the new development philosophy of "innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing." On this basis, this paper further discusses the importance of innovation in the course of pursuing development and emphasizes that only by putting innovation-driven development above the foundation and core of the new development philosophy and taking innovation as the core, the driving force and the forerunner, can we truly realize coordinated, green, open and shared development.Through innovation-driven development, we can realize the transformation from old to new kinetic energy, gradually narrow the gap between urban and rural areas, and better achieve regional balanced development. Green, circular and low-carbon development can be achieved through innovation drive, especially by promoting technological innovation in the fields of environmental protection and ecological civilization construction. Driven by innovation, we can better promote opening-up, further improve the efficiency and quality of "bringing in" and "going out," and develop an open economy of higher standards. Through innovation-driven development, we can improve production efficiency, create a solid material foundation for comprehensive sharing, give the broad masses of people a greater sense of gain, and better promote sharing and common prosperity. Therefore, this kind of innovation-driven development is systematic, holistic and runs through the overall picture, and can promote balanced, inclusive and sustainable development.

Third, innovation-driven development upholds the people-centered philosophy. The Party's purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly determines the basic principle that innovation-driven development should not only rely on the masses of people but also serve the people and share innovation achievements with the people. First, innovation-driven development should rely on the strength of the people, enhance people's capacity for innovation, and uphold independent innovation with Chinese characteristics. We should fully mobilize the enthusiasm of Chinese scientific and technical personnel, give full play to their talent and wisdom, seize the opportunities of innovation-driven development, and be the "forerunner" of innovation. Secondly, innovation-driven development embodies the theory of benefiting mankind. Development must prioritize the mission of improving people's lives and well-being. This is General Secretary Xi Jinping's people-centered philosophy which runs through his thought on innovation-driven development. He pointed out that the needs and calls of the people are the voice of the times of scientific and technological progress and innovation, and that creating a better future for mankind is a powerful driving force for scientific and technological development. Scientific and technological innovation should benefit the people, enrich the people and improve people's livelihood, with the ultimate goal being to make scientific and technological achievements that are more conducive to people's lives. Third, only by combining the achievements of innovation-driven development with the needs of the country, the people and the market, can the innovation value be truly realized. By implementing innovation-driven measures, we should focus on improving the quality and efficiency of economic development, producing more and better material and spiritual products, and constantly meeting people's growing material and cultural needs. These are the primary purposes of development. The philosophy of putting people first embodies the fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly and the inherent requirement of upholding the principal status of the people.

 

Fourth, innovation-driven development is guided by the “Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy”, which is the latest theoretical achievement that combines Marxism with the practice of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Innovation is a complex social system engineering project, involving various fields and links of economic society. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that innovation must be placed at the core of the overall development of the country, and innovation in theory, institution, science technology, culture and other aspects must be continuously promoted so that innovation can run through all the work of the Party and the country. Innovation-driven development must be led by the “Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy”. Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is the fundamental direction of the innovation-driven development strategy. Comprehensively deepening reform provides a driving force for the innovation-driven development strategy, comprehensive law-based governance lays a solid institutional foundation for the innovation-driven development strategy, and enforcing full and strict discipline over the Party provides a strong guarantee. Innovation-driven development is an important part of Xi Jinping's economic thought, which not only comes down in continuous line with the CPC's scientific and technological thought, but also keeps pace with the times. General Secretary Xi Jinping's theoretical exposition on scientific and technological innovation involves major issues such as the function, strategy, talents, system reform, people's livelihood and culture of scientific and technological innovation. Being a complete ideological and theoretical system, these expositions combine Marxist theory with the concrete practice of socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics. Its spiritual essence is to make innovation the core driving force of China's economic development, which not only upholds the basic principles of Marxist political economy, but also expands the research objects of Marxist political economy with the times, enriching and developing the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Vivid Practice and Historical Achievements of Innovation-Driven Development

 

The 18th CPCNational Congress proposed "implementing the innovation-driven development strategy" and the 19th CPC National Congress proposed that "innovation is the first driving force to lead development." At the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, the Party put forward that "uphold the core position of innovation in the overall situation of China's modernization." The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core constantly explores laws and deepens understanding and puts forward a series of new theories and requirements for innovation-driven development. It pointed out the new direction of independent innovation with Chinese characteristics, provided fundamental compliance for the construction of building China’s strength in science and technology, made a strategic decision for the full implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy, and promoted the introduction of a series of scientific and technological innovations and related major innovation fields and key industry development plans. The implementation of these major strategic measures has accelerated China's entry into a new stage of innovation and development.

 

First, uphold the "Four Orientations," and highlight the new direction of innovation-driven development. Led by the orientation to global scientific and technological frontiers, major scientific and technological achievements such as manned spacecraft, lunar exploration project, C919 jetliner, manned submersible Jiaolong and National Supercomputing Center have been made. Original outcomes with international influence have been made in strategic high-tech fields such as quantum information, neutrino oscillation, iron-based superconductivity, stem cells and synthetic biology, which have demonstrated China's confidence in the innovation of "major projects of a great nation”.We have established world-leading major science and technology infrastructure such as the quantum computing system of "Jiuzhang", the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) (also called Chinese Tianyan), the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), or Insight, and spallation neutron source.We've carried out the second scientific research on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and achieved major breakthroughs in fundamental frontiers such as the Tianji hybrid artificial intelligence (AI) chip.Led by the orientation to the major needs of the country, we have established a global network through the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, collected lunar samples through Chang'e-5, launched the Tianwen-1 Mars probe, accelerated the construction of the Tiangong space station, completed the 10,000-meter sea trials for the manned submersible Fendouzhe, completed and put into use the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) and other major scientific devices. We've solved a number of bottleneck problems by making landmark progresses such as integrated circuit equipment, the world's first fourth-generation nuclear power high-temperature gas-cooled demonstration reactor, the CAP1400 nuclear reactor unit, and ultra-strong and ultra-short laser.Led by the orientation to the main battlefield of the national economy, breakthroughs have been made in a number of key industrial technologies such as mobile communication, high-speed railway, Internet technology application, nuclear power, and intelligent manufacturing. Progress has been made in Bohai Granary Science and Technology Demonstration Project and rice-breeding accelerator in unmanned plant factories, which provide strong support for ensuring food security and improving people's livelihood and well-being.Led by the orientation to people's safety and health, innovative achievements such as integrated whole-body positron emission/magnetic resonance imaging and "scientific and technological anti-epidemic measures" have been made. We've broken the monopoly of foreign patented drugs for cancer, leukemia, drug-resistant bacteria prevention and control, and accelerated the localization of a number of high-end medical equipment. These major innovation achievements have greatly enhanced China's capacity for innovation, enabled China to take a favorable position in the global competition for strategic commanding heights in science and technology, and profoundly changed the global scientific and technological innovation landscape.

 

Second, take scientific and technological innovation as the core to stimulate new drivers of innovation-driven development. We've implemented the innovation-driven development strategy, promoted comprehensive innovation with scientific and technological innovation as the core, promoted the organic combination of science and technology and economy, and provided a new source of growth momentum for sustainable and healthy economic and social development.In the past ten years, China's investment in science and technology has increased substantially, with the research and development expenditure of the whole society increasing from RMB1.03 trillion to RMB2.79 trillion, ranking second in the world, The R&D intensity increased from 1.91% to 2.44%, close to the average level of OECD countries. The contribution of technological advances to economic growth rate exceeds 60%. Funding for basic research is 3.4 times that of ten years ago. China's global innovation index ranking increased from 34th in 2012 to 12th in 2021, and successfully entered the list of innovation-oriented countries. New changes have taken place in China's position and role in the global innovation landscape. China is not only an important participant in international frontier innovation, but also an important contributor to jointly solving global problems. The operating income of high-tech industries increased from RMB9.95 trillion in 2012 to RMB19.91 trillion in 2021, doubling the scale. The proportion of high-tech manufacturing industry in the added-value of industrial enterprises above designated size increased from 9.4% in 2012 to 15.1% in 2021, and the number of industrial enterprises above designated size increased from 24,600 in 2012 to 41,400 in 2021, with the emergence of a large number of leading innovative enterprises with international competitiveness.More than 40 major scientific and technological infrastructure projects, including the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, have been planned and built. We've made every effort to build international innovation centers in Beijing, Shanghai and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and comprehensive national scientific centers in Huairou, Zhangjiang, Hefei and the Greater Bay Area.

 

Third, we've created a new pattern of innovation-driven development based on industrial integration and innovation. Innovation-driven development has led the development of emerging industries. The application of emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and quantum communication has accelerated and helped cultivated new products and new business forms such as smart terminals, telemedicine, and online education.The scales of solar photovoltaic, wind power, new display, semiconductor lighting, advanced energy storage and other industries are among the world's largest.Scientific and technological innovation has boosted traditional industrial upgrading, the "three horizontals and three verticals" that have lasted for more than two decades have helped form a relatively complete innovation layout of China's new energy vehicles. New technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence have boosted the digital economy, platform economy and sharing economy. A new industrial development pattern has emerged, featuring the synchronized development of strategic emerging industries and traditional manufacturing industries, mutual advancement of modern and traditional service industries, and deep integration of information technology and industrialization.Science and technology are the pillar for the construction of major projects. The UHV transmission project, Beidou Navigation System and Fuxing high-speed train were put into operation, the high-speed maglev test prototype with a speed of 600 km/h was rolled off the production line, and the "Deep Sea No.1" drilling platform was successfully developed and officially put into production, which marked that China's offshore oil exploration and development entered an era of 1,500-meter ultra-deep water exploration. These major technological breakthroughs have strongly supported the construction of major projects. Science and technology promote regional innovation-driven development, and the leading role of innovation in Beijing, Shanghai and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been continuously enhanced. The R&D investment of the three places accounts for more than 30% of that of the whole country, and 70% and 50% of the technology transaction contracts in Beijing and Shanghai are exported to other places respectively.

 

Fourth, we need to follow the path of openness, sharing and collaboration to develop new solutions for innovation-driven development. With the vision of "science and technology - a community with a shared future," General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that we need to make a scientific and technological innovation layout from a global perspective and deeply participate in global scientific and technological governance. These are the strategic choices to adapt to the globalization of economy and science and technology in the new era. It is also an inevitable requirement for building a world-leading nation strong in science and technology. He pointed out that "the elements of innovation in the new ear are more open and mobile, so we should not engage in innovation behind closed doors, but discuss, build and share with other countries in the world." Adhering to the concept of "a scientific and technological community," he called for efforts to promote global scientific and technological cooperation, fully improve the research and exchange of basic science and major international scientific and technological projects, and provide innovative development reference for developing countries to break through the bottleneck of development and get rid of poverty and backwardness. Xi Jinping's thought on all-round participation in global scientific and technological governance stresses that China should actively integrate itself into the global scientific and technological innovation network system, deeply participate in global scientific and technological governance, contribute China's solutions to global problems such as public health, climate change and food security in its participation, and enhance China's right to speak in scientific and technological fields and its ability to make rules in its participation. The new order and system of global scientific and technological innovation under the framework of a "science and technology community" for mankind contributes Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions to the world with a broad global vision.

Experience and Enlightenment of Innovation-Driven Development

 

Innovation-driven development's practice shows distinct Chinese characteristics and wisdom, and gathers great strength for high-quality economic and social development.

 

First, upholding the Party's leadership is the fundamental guarantee for realizing innovation-driven development. China's scientific and technological innovation has made brilliant achievements from "following and running" to "parallel" and then to "leading." The most fundamental reason lies in upholding the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC, combining the institutional advantages and the advantages of a super-large-scale market to concentrate strength for major undertakings, and building national strengths in science and technology, industry and economy. It is mainly reflected in three aspects: First, political guidance. According to the development and changes of the landscape of the Party, the nation and the world, China has strengthened political guidance and optimized the top-level design, given strategic guidance to the cause of scientific and technological innovation, correctly formulated innovative development policies to ensure that innovation marches along the right direction. Second, strategic planning. According to the main contradictions in different stages of China's economic and social development, it puts forward the planning suggestions of innovation-driven development, and turns the Party's ruling philosophy, the strategy of governing the country and the solemn commitment to the people into a grand blueprint. Third, organizational support. The Party's strong leadership guarantees the efficient execution of innovation work, establishes a coordinated mode of allocation of scientific and technological elements and resources, and ensures the implementation of the strategic plan for scientific and technological innovation.

 

Second, building a new national innovation system is the core carrier to promoting innovation-driven development. Improving the national innovation system is an important systematic support for winning tough battles in key core technologies and achieving higher levels of self-reliance. We should pool our superior resources to tackle key and core technological problems and promoted independent innovation, increase investment in basic research and makeoriginal innovations, and improve a new nationwide system. We should set up national laboratories, national industrial innovation centers, national engineering innovation centers, national enterprise technology centers, and international science and technology innovation centers to integrate national innovation resources. Weshouldcontinue to advance scientific and technological development led by an orientation to economic and social development, eliminate the phenomenon of isolated islands in scientific and technological innovation, and improve the overall effectiveness of the national innovation system. Weshouldfocus on cultivating strategic scientists and professionals in strategic science and technology to form the core of the country's strategic scientific and technological strength, and achieve major breakthroughs in key areas in the spirit of "sharpening one sword in ten years" to create more innovation-driven development. Weshouldpromoteopen cooperation in science and technology, and support enterprises in leveraging global human and technological resources to enhance their capacity for independent innovation through joint mergers and acquisitions, the establishment of overseas research and development centers, overseas study, and multinational research and development cooperation.

 

Third, accelerating major original scientific and technological innovation is the deep driving force for innovative development. We should adhere to the "Four Orientations" of scientific and technological innovation and development, and make scientific and technological self-reliance a strategic support for national security and development. To be at the forefront of global science and technology, we need to identify breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum control, artificial life, and marine development. We need to use "asymmetric" and "best card" technologies to take the initiative in key generic technologies, cutting-edge technologies, and game-changing technologies. Facing the main economic battlefield, we must transform science and technology into a material force to transform the world, and meet the effective demand of the domestic economy with high-quality scientific and technological supply. Meanwhile, we need to develop innovation chains around the industrial chain, implement projects to re-engineer the industrial base, develop the industrial Internet, and build more platforms for research and development of generic technologies to support the continuous improvement of industrial innovation capacity. We need to meet major national needs, serve national security and respond to the political, economic and social security needs of the country, serve the urgent needs of the country, and make all-out efforts to achieve breakthroughs in key technologies such as high-end chips, industrial software and chemical agents. To ensure people's safety and health, we must turn to scientific and technological self-reliance, promote people's healthy physical and mental development, and promote a modernization in which man and nature coexist in harmony.

 

Fourth, promoting the deep integration of scientific and technological innovation and the real economy is an important way to accelerate innovation-driven development. Weshouldopen up the channels between science and technology and economic and social development, accelerate the establishment of an ecological system for scientific and technological innovation and commercialization that is compatible with the self-reliance and self-improvement of science and technology, optimize the layout of state key laboratories and research institutions, and establishan efficient and coordinated system for result-oriented development and technology transfer. Weshouldpromoteinterdisciplinary integration, and improvethe common basic technology supply system. Weshouldaccelerate the interaction and integration of the college innovation system with the enterprise innovation system and the industrial innovation system, and coordinate basic research, application development, application of achievements, and industrial development. At the same time, we should improve the innovation incentive and guarantee mechanism, and build a profit distribution mechanism that fully reflects the value of innovation factors such as knowledge and technology. We will establish an information exchange platform for technological innovation, encourage scientific and technological enterprises and research institutions to share innovation resources with colleges and universities, and constantly increase the conversion rate of scientific and technological achievements. We will establish a more flexible talent management mechanism, remove institutional barriers to the flow, use and role of talent, and maximize support and assistance to scientific and technological personnel in their innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

Fifth, comprehensively improving the scientific and technological innovation capability of enterprises is the micro-foundation for promoting innovation and development. The key to China's self-reliance and self-improvement in science and technology is the rise of a group of science and technology enterprises that have mastered key technologies. Therefore, efforts should be made to use the market-oriented mechanism to galvanize enterprise innovation, so that enterprises can truly become the main body of technological innovation decision-making, R&D investment, scientific research organization and achievement transformation. We should integrate and apply the advantages of a new system concentrating nationwide effort and resources on key national undertakings and market-oriented galvanizing mechanism, actively cultivate people who can stand at the forefront of world-leading science and technology and meet the major strategic needs of the country. Innovative leading enterprises with great original innovation capability should give full play to their important role in cutting-edge scientific and technological exploration, undertaking major national scientific and technological tasks, breaking through the industrial key generic technologies and core technologies in key fields. We should encourage leading enterprises to form innovative consortia to promote the integration and innovation of large, medium and small-sized enterprises, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises, and comprehensively enhance the innovation capability of Chinese enterprises.

 

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