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[China Economic Times]The Great Practice of Xi Jinping's Economic Thought⑩Chen Xiaohong: Adhere to Promoting High-quality Economic and Social Development through Innovation-driven Development Strategy

2022-09-22 16:40:29

Core summary

To implement the strategy of innovation-driven development, China will promote overall innovation, particularly scientific and technological innovation, enhance the contribution made by scientific and technological advancements to economic growth, and create new engines of growth to promote high-quality economic and social development.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has been constantly exploring laws, deepening understanding, putting forward a series of new assertions and new requirements for innovation-driven development, pointing out a new direction of adhering to the line of self-dependent innovation with Chinese characteristics, and providing fundamental guidance for building a powerful nation in science and technology.

The practice of innovation-driven development represents distinct Chinese characteristics and Chinese wisdom, and accumulates a boundless force to promote high-quality economic and social development.

Chen Xiaohong:
Innovation is the fountain of a nation's progress, an inexhaustible motive forcefor the prosperity of a country, and the most distinctive national characteristic of the Chinese nation that is different from other nations. At present, with the continuous evolution of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial change around the world, China's economic system is in a critical period of reform in quality, efficiency and impetus. Therefore, more than ever, we need to rely on the innovation-driven development strategy to speed up the construction of a modern economic system, so as to promote high-quality economic and social development. Since the 18th CPC National Congress,General Secretary Xi Jinping has made many important speeches on the in-depth implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy based on the overall situation of the strategy of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and answered in detail and correctly the major theoretical and practical questions of innovation and development under the new situation. Therefore, these speeches are not only the latest theoretical achievement of the road of independent innovation with Chinese characteristics but also the action program for building a moderately prosperous society and an innovative country in an all-around way. The content of an innovation-driven development strategy not only has a profound connotation of the times, but its implementation has achieved fruitful practical results and also provides important experience and enlightenment for the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

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The profound connotation of innovation-driven development and its significance to the times

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that innovation is an important driving force to promote the development of the country and the nation, and scientific and technological innovation can provide strategic support for the improvement of social productive forces and the development of comprehensive national strength. To implement the strategy of innovation-driven development, China will promote overall innovation, particularly scientific and technological innovation, remain demand-driven and industrialization-oriented, ensure that enterprises play the principal role in innovation, let the market play the decisive role in allocating resources, and take full advantage of the socialist system. It will enhance the contribution made by scientific and technological advancements to economic growth, create new engines of growth, and sustain high-quality economic and social development.

First, the innovation-driven development strategy is an inevitable choice for building a modern and powerful socialist country. In the 21st century, global competition in science and technology is becoming increasingly fierce. In the face of the new realityof world science and technology and economy, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the strategic concept of innovation-driven development, pointing out that innovation is the core driving force to promote development, that innovation is the cornerstone of development, and only innovation can promote future development. The new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation has formed a historic encounter with the period when China speed up the transformation of the mode of economic development, providing a major opportunity for China to implement the innovation-driven development strategy. Domestically, China's social productivity, comprehensive national strength, and scientific and technological strength have made considerable progress, but the problems of imbalance, inadequacy, and unsustainable development still can’t be blindly optimistic. This objective reality requires us to adhere to the combination of demand orientation and problem orientation, take the needs of the people as the fundamental guide, and accelerate the fundamental transformation from factor-driven, investment scale-driven to innovation-driven. To promote the synchronous development of new industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, it is objectively required to turn to the track of innovation-driven development, better tap into the growth potentialof scientific and technological innovation, and give full play to the role of scientific and technological progress and innovation. Therefore, we should strengthen the strategic support role of innovation-driven development for the modern economic system, work harder to shore up weak links in areas of innovation capability, innovation system, and innovation mechanism, and promote the deep integration of scientific and technological innovation and economic and social development, which is fundamental measures to resolve the deep-seated contradictions in economic development and enhance the endogenous power and vitality of economic development. In conclusion, the innovation-driven development strategy is an inevitable choice for building a modern and powerful socialist country.

Second, the implementation of an innovation-driven development strategy is the objective requirement to promote high-quality development. The unsustainability of the traditional development model urges that we must change the development concept and development model in order to achieve coordinated, sustainable, green and low-carbon economic and socialdevelopment. Accordingly, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward a new development concept of "innovation, coordination, greenness, openness and sharing". On this basis, he further discussed the importance of implementing an innovation-driven development strategy in development, and stressed that only by making innovation and development as the foundation and core of the new development concept, with innovation as the center, driving force, and guiding line, can we truly achieve the development target of “coordination, greenness, openness and sharing”. Only through the implementation of an innovation-driven development strategy, can we replace old growth drivers with new ones, gradually bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, and achieve balanced regional development in a better way; by implementing innovation-driven development strategy, especially by promoting technological innovation in the areas of environmental protection and ecological civilization construction, we can achieve the target of green, circular and low-carbon development, and can better promote opening up to the outside world, further enhance the efficiency and quality of "bringing in" and "going global" strategy, and deeply develop an open economy at a higher level, we also can improve production efficiency, create a solid material foundation for the broad masses of people to fully share the fruits of development and achieve common prosperity, so as to make them have a greater sense of achievement. Therefore, this innovation-driven development strategy is systematic, and holistic, runs through the overall situation, and is a way that can promote balanced, inclusive and sustainable development.

Third, to implement the innovation-driven development strategy should stick to the principle of the people-centered value orientation. The purpose of the CPC is to serve the people wholeheartedly, which determines that the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy should not only rely on the people, but also follow the basic principle of development for the people and let the broad masses of the people share the fruits of innovation. First, to implement the innovation-driven development strategy, we must rely on the strength of the people, enhance our capacity for independent innovation, and unswervingly follow the path of independent innovation with Chinese characteristics. We should fully mobilize the enthusiasm of Chinese scientific and technological personnel, give full play to their talents and wisdom, and strive to seize the opportunities for innovation-driven development and let them play the role of the "front runner" in innovation development. Second, the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy is for the benefit of all mankind. For the new People-centered Development Thought proposed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, he stressed that we must take improving people's living standard and improving people's well-being as the starting point and end stopoverof development, and it is also included in his innovative development thought. 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 creating a better future for mankind is a strong driving force for scientific and technological development; The important direction of scientific and technological innovation should be to benefit and enrich the people and to improve people's livelihood, and the ultimate goal is to make scientific and technological achievements more fully benefit the people. Third, the results of innovation-driven development strategy can truly reflect the value brought by innovation only if they can meet the needs of the country, the people and the market. By implementing the innovation-driven development strategy, we should focus on improving the quality and efficiency of economic development, produce more and better material and spiritual products, and constantly meet the growing material and cultural needs of the people. The value orientation of putting people first reflects the fundamental purpose of the CPC to serve the people wholeheartedly and the internal requirements of adhering to the people's dominant position.

Fourth, the innovation-driven development strategy, guided by the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy, is the latest theoretical achievement in the combination of Marxist theory and the practice of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Innovation is a complex social system engineering, involving various fields and links between the economy and society. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that innovation must be made as the core of overall national development, and should be reflected in the fields of theory, system, science and technology, culture and other aspects that must be constantly promoted to make innovation guide all the work of the CPC and the country. Innovation-driven development strategy is guided by the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy. The fundamental goal of the innovation-driven development strategy is to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Deepening reform in an all-around way provides a motive force sourcefor the innovation-driven development strategy. To manage the work of the country in an all-around way according to law lays a solid institutional foundation for the innovation-driven development strategy, and to strictly govern the CPC in an all-around way provides a strong guarantee for the innovation-driven development strategy. The implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy is an important part of Xi Jinping's Economic Thought, which not only inherits the scientific and technological thought of the CPC in one continuous line but also fully reflects the progress with the times. General Secretary Xi Jinping’s theoretical discussions on the thought of scientific and technological innovation, involving the key points in many fields such as the function, strategy, talents, system reform, people's livelihood, and culture of scientific and technological innovation, is a complete ideological and theoretical system. These discussions combine Marxist theory with the specific practice of socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics. The spiritual essence is to make innovation the core power of China's economic development, which not only meets the requirements of the basic principles of Marxist political economy, but also expands the research objects of Marxist political economy with the times, and enriches and develops the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Great Practice and Historical Achievements in Implementing the Innovation-driven Development Strategy

The 18th CPC National Congress clearly put forward the "implementation of innovation-driven development strategy", and the 19th CPC National Congress put forward that "innovation is the foremost driving force to lead the development", and the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC)put forward that "innovation will remain at the heart of China’s modernization drive", the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has constantly explored laws, deepened understanding, and put forward a series of new judgments and new requirements for innovative development, and clearly shown the new direction of adhering to the path of independent innovation with Chinese characteristics, and provided a fundamental basis for building a scientific and technological power, and it has made a strategic deployment to comprehensively implement the innovation-driven development strategy, promoted the introduction of a series of development plans forscientific and technological innovation and related major innovation areas and key industry, and implemented these major strategic measures, effectively promoting China's pace into a new stage of innovation and development.

First, we adhere to the "four orientations" theory that is scientific and technological development must target the global sci-tech frontiers, serve the main economic battlefields, strive to fulfill the significant needs of the country and benefit people's lives and health, and highlight the new direction of innovation-driven development. In terms of targeting the global sci-tech frontiers, major scientific and technological achievements, such as manned space flight, lunar exploration project, C919 large passenger aircraft project, Jiaolong manned submersible project, supercomputerproject, were born one after another; original scientific and technological achievements with international influence have been made in such strategic high-tech fields as quantum information, neutrino oscillation, iron based superconductor material, stem cells and synthetic biology, demonstrating the confidence generated by innovation as an "advanced equipment for the country"; the world's leading major scientific and technological infrastructure, such as the "Jiuzhang" quantum computer, Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), and Chinese Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), has been completed successively; We conducted the second comprehensive scientific research on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, and made major breakthroughs in the basic frontier such as the "Tianjic" brain-inspired computing chip. To strive to fulfill the significant needs of the country, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) realized global networking, Chang'e-5achieved extraterrestrial object sampling, Tianwen 1 probe lands on Mars, and the construction of the China Space Stationwas accelerated. The deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe completed 10,000-meter sea trials, and the FASTand other large scientific devices were put into use; Iconic progress has been made in integrated circuit equipment, the world's first fourth-generation nuclear power high-temperature gas-cooled demonstration reactor, the CAP1400nuclear power unit, ultra-intense and ultra-short lasers, etc., which has solved a number of bottleneck problems. As for serving the main economic battlefields, we have made breakthroughs in a number of key industrial technologies such as mobile communication, high-speed railway, Internet technology application, nuclear power, and intelligent manufacturing; The Bohai Granary Science and Technology Demonstration Project and the rice breeding accelerator of the unmanned plant factory continued to make new progress, providing strong support for ensuring food security and improving people's well-being. In terms of the efforts to benefit people's lives and health, we have made innovative achievements such as integrated whole body positron emission/magnetic resonance imaging and "fighting against COVID-19 by scientific and technological means"; cancer, leukemia, drug resistant bacteria prevention and control and other fields have broken the monopoly of foreign patented drugs, and a number of high-end medical equipment have accelerated the localization. This series of major innovation achievements has greatly improved China's independent innovation ability, won a favorable position in the competition to seize the commanding heights of international science and technology strategy, and profoundly changed the global scientific and technological innovation landscape.

Second, we should take scientific and technological innovation as the core to stimulate new momentum for implementing the innovation-driven development strategy. We should implement the innovation-driven development strategy, promote comprehensive innovation with scientific and technological innovation as its core, promote the seamless connection between scientific and technological progress and economic development, and provide a new source of growth power for sustainable and healthy economic and social development. Over the past decade, China's investment in scientific research has increased significantly, and the total R&D expenditure has increased from 1.03 trillion yuan to 2.79 trillion yuan, ranking second in the world; The R&D investment increased from 1.91% to 2.44%, close to the average level of OECD countries; The contribution rate of scientific and technological progress exceeds 60%; The funding for basic research is 3.4 times that of a decade ago. The ranking of China's global innovation index rose from 34th in 2012 to 12th in 2021, and China has successfully entered the ranks of innovative countries. China's status and role in the global innovation map have been enhanced, and at present, China is not only an important participant in international cutting-edge innovation, but also an important contributor to solving global problems.The operating income of the high-tech industry has doubled from 9.95 trillion yuan in 2012 to 19.91 trillion yuan in 2021. The proportion of the high-tech manufacturing industry in the added value of industries above the designated size increased from 9.4% in 2012 to 15.1% in 2021. The number of high-tech manufacturing enterprises above the designated size increased from 24600 in 2012 to 41400 in 2021, and a large number of innovative leading enterprises with international competitiveness grew up. We have laid out and built more than 40 major scientific and technological infrastructures, including Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) project, and made every effort to build international scientific and technological innovation centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and comprehensive national science centers in Huairou, Zhangjiang, Hefei, and the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Third, we should adhere to industrial integration and innovation as the basis to create a new pattern of innovation-driven development strategy. Innovation-driven development strategy leads the development of emerging industries. The application of emerging technologies such as robots, artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain and quantum communication has been accelerated, and new products and new formats such as intelligent terminals, telemedicine and online education have been cultivated; The scale of solar photovoltaic, wind power, new display technologies, semiconductor lighting, advanced energy storage and other industries is among the world's largest. Scientific and technological innovation has boosted the upgrading of traditional industries, and continued to develop "three horizontal and three vertical" technologies ("Three vertical" means hybrid electric vehicles, pure electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles; "Three horizontal" refers to a multi-energy powertrain control system, motor and its control system, battery and its management system) for more than 20 years, and formed a relatively complete innovation layout for new energy vehicles in China; New technologies such as 5G and AI have promoted the booming of the digital economy, platform economy and sharing economy, forming a new pattern of industrial development in which strategic emerging industries and traditional manufacturing industries keep abreast, modern service industries and traditional service industries promote each other, and informatization and industrialization are deeply integrated. Science and technology have supported the construction of major projects. The ultra-high voltage power transmission project, the BDS and the high-speed trains “Fuxing” have been put into operation. The 600km/h high-speed magnetic levitation test sample vehicle has rolled off the assembly line. The successful development and official operation of the "Deep Sea No.1" drilling platform marks that China's offshore oil exploration and development has entered the 1500m ultra deep-water era. These major technological breakthroughs have strongly supported the construction of major projects. Science and technology promote regional innovation and development. Beijing, Shanghai, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Areacontinue to play an increasingly leading role in innovation. The R&D investment in the three regions accounts for more than 30% of the country's total. 70% and 50% of the technology trading contracts in Beijing and Shanghai are exported to other regions respectively.

Fourth, we should stick to following the path of openness, sharing and cooperation, and form a new plan for the innovation-driven development strategy. General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed that the layout of scientific and technological innovation strategy from a global scope and deep participation in global scientific and technological governance is a strategic choice to adapt to economic and technological globalization in the new era, and also an inevitable requirement for building a world science and technology power. He pointed out that "in the new era, innovation elements are more open and mobile. We cannot possibly pursue innovation behind closed doors, but should work together with all countries in the world for extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits", and uphold the concept of "science and technology - a community with a shared future", and efforts should be made to promote global scientific and technological cooperation, research and exchange of basic science and major international scientific and technological projects, and provide innovative development references for developing countries to break through development bottlenecks and shake off poverty and backwardness. Xi Jinping's Thoughts on deep participation in global science and technology governance emphasize that China should actively integrate into the global science and technology innovation network system, deeply participate in global science and technology governance, contribute to China's programs to jointly address global problems such as public health, climate change, food security, and improve China's science and technology voice and rule-making ability in deep participation. The new order and system of global scientific and technological innovation under the framework of "science and technology - a community of shared future" of mankind contribute Chinese wisdom and Chinese programs to the world with a broad global perspective.

Experience and enlightenment of innovation-driven development strategy

The practice of innovation-driven development strategy shows distinctive Chinese characteristics and Chinese wisdom, and creates a new motive force of growth to promote high-quality economic and social development.

First, adhering to the leadership of the CPC is the fundamental guarantee for achieving the innovation-driven development strategy. China's scientific and technological innovation has made brilliant achievements from "following" to "parallel" and then to "leading", and the most fundamental reason is that we have adhered to the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC that combined the institutional advantages of socialist centralized power for major events with the advantages of a super-large market, and made great achievements in the fields of science, technology, industry, economy so as to build a powerful nation. It is mainly reflected in three aspects: First, political guidance. According to the development and changes of the CPC, national conditions and world conditions, we should strengthen political guidance and optimize top-level structure design, give strategic guidance to the cause of scientific and technological innovation, correctly formulate innovative development policies, and ensure that the innovation-driven strategy moves along the right direction; second, strategic planning. According to the main contradictions in different stages of China's economic and social development, we put forward planning proposals for innovation-driven development strategy, and turned the CPC's governing philosophy, strategy for governing the country, and solemn commitment to the people into a grand blueprint; third, organizational guarantee. The CPC's strong leadership will ensure the efficient implementation of innovation, build a coordinated scientific and technological elements and resource allocation model, and ensure that the strategic plan for scientific and technological innovation is implemented.

Second, building a new national innovation system is the core carrier to promote innovation and development. Improving the national innovation system is an important system support to fight the key core technology battle and achieve a higher level of self-dependence. We should gather superior resources, promote key core technology research and independent innovation, strengthen investment in basic research and original innovation, and improve the new national system, and we also should build a nation-level laboratory, a nation-level industrial innovation center, a nation-level engineering innovation center, a nation-level enterprise technology center, an international science and technology innovation center, etc., and integrate national innovation resources. We should adhere to following the orientation of science and technology towards economic and social development, eliminate the "islanding phenomenon" in scientific and technological innovation, and improve the overall effectiveness of the national innovation system. We should also strive to cultivate strategic scientists and strategic scientific and technological talents, form the core of national strategic scientific and technological strength, and achieve major breakthroughs in key core areas with persistence and painstaking effort, so as to create a leading development that relies more on innovation-driven and gives more play to the first mover advantage. We will promote openness and cooperation in science and technology, and support enterprises to use global human resources and scientific and technological resources to improve their capacity for independent innovation through cooperative mergers and acquisitions, the establishment of overseas research and development centers, overseas learning, and transnational research and development cooperation.

Third, accelerating major original scientific and technological innovation is the deep driving force for achieving innovative development. For scientific and technological innovation and development, we adhere to the "four orientations" theory that is scientific and technological development must target the global sci-tech frontiers, serve the main economic battlefields, strive to fulfill the significant needs of the country and benefit people's lives and health, and take self-dependentin science and technology as the strategic support for national security and development. To make the seamless connectionofthe world's scientific and technological frontier, we need to find a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum regulation, artificial life, marine development, etc., and use "asymmetric" and "trump card" technologies to take the initiative in key common technologies, cutting-edge leading technologies, and disruptive technologies. Forthe main economic battlefield, it is necessary to transform science and technology into a material force to transform the worldand to meet the effective demand of the domestic economy with high-quality science and technology supply. At the same time, we should deploy an innovation chain around the industrial chain, implement the industrial foundation reconstruction project, develop the industrial Internet, build more common technology research and development platforms, and support the continuous improvement of industrial innovation capability. Forthe major national needs, we should serve the national security and respond to the national political, economic and social security needs; In order to serve the urgent needs of the country, we should make breakthroughs in high-end chips, industrial software, chemical agents and other key core technologies. Forpeople's life and health, we must rely on science and technology to protect people's lives, promote people's physical and mental health, and promote the modernization of harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Fourth, promoting the deep integration of scientific and technological innovation and the real economy is an important path to accelerate innovative development. We should open the channel between science and technology and economic and social development, accelerate to buildan ecosystem of scientific and technological innovation and achievements transformation that is compatible with scientific and technological self-dependent, optimize the layout of nation-levelkey laboratories and scientific research institutions, and build an efficient and collaborative achievements development and technology transfer system.We should promote interdisciplinary integration and improve the supply system of common basic technologies, and accelerate the interaction and integration of university innovation system, enterprise innovation system and industrial innovation system, and integrate basic research, application development, achievement transformation, industrial development and other links. At the same time, we should improve the incentive and guarantee mechanism for innovation, and build a profit distribution mechanism that fully reflects the value of knowledge, technology and other innovative elements; We should also establish a technology innovation information exchange platform, encourage scientific and technological enterprises, scientific research institutions and universities to share innovation resources, and constantly improve the transformation rate of scientific and technological achievements; We will establish a more flexible talent management mechanism, break through the institutional and institutional barriers in the flow, use and functioning of talent, and maximize support and assistance to scientific and technological personnel in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Fifth, comprehensively improving the scientific and technological innovation capability of enterprises is the micro foundation for promoting the innovation-drivendevelopmentstrategy.The key to the self-dependence of China's science and technology is the rise of a group of scientific and technological enterprises that master key core technologies, and the key is to continuously improve the independent innovation ability of Chinese enterprises. In this regard, we should focus on using the market-oriented mechanism to stimulate enterprise innovation, so that enterprises can truly own the dominant roleof technological innovation decision-making, R&D investment, scientific research organization, and achievements transformation. We should also integrate and apply the advantages of the new national system and market-oriented incentive mechanism, actively cultivate innovative leading enterprises that can face the world's science and technology frontier and major national strategic needs, have greater original innovation capabilities, play an important role in frontier science and technology exploration, undertaking major national science and technology tasks, breaking through key common technologies in industries, and "bottleneck problems" of key core technologies, and encourage leading enterprises to form innovation consortia, so as to further promote the financing and innovation of large, small and medium-sized enterprises, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises, and comprehensively enhance the innovation capability of Chinese enterprises.

 

(The author is a CAE Academician, Secretary of CPC HUTB Committee, and Director of Xiangjiang Laboratory)

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