Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday stressed the role of science and technology in “building an innovative nation, transforming the growth pattern and gaining initiative in development.” Mr. Hu told more than 1,400 scientists and engineers attending a biennial conference of China’s two leading science and technology organizations which opened in Beijing on Monday, “The key is to greatly improve innovation abilities.” Mr. Hu said the science and technological sector “shoulder an important mission” in transforming the economic growth pattern.
The five—day conference was attended by academicians from the 709—member Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the 751—member Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), the top honorary bodies that advise the government and industries on key scientific and technological issues.
“The competition on science and technology has an important status in the competition of overall national strength,” Hu told them.
“The rapid development of science and technology has profoundly changed the growth mode and the mode of production, and innovation has become an important way to resolve global problems such as energy resources, ecological environment, natural disasters and health, and has become a main driver of economic and social development,” he said.
Mr. Hu said efforts must be made to develop technologies of energy resource exploitation so as to form a sustainable system featuring recycling and low carbon emissions.
More efforts should also be focused on advanced material and manufacturing science, the equipment manufacturing industry, information technology, agriculture, biology, food safety, health sciences, and environment protection technologies, he said.
Mr. Hu said space and ocean technologies should be developed to ensure the peaceful and efficient use of space, and state and public security technologies should be emphasized and should aim to improve the ability of monitoring, advance warning and management of traditional and non—traditional threats to security.
Mr. Hu said technological competitiveness is vital for the nation’s international competitiveness, adding that science and technology are strategically important.
Efforts must be made to resolve key technological issues that affect the nation’s future development, he said.
He called for technological development and a blueprint for creating a highly skilled work force.
State leaders Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang attended the conference opening at the Great Hall of the People.
During the five—day conference, scientists will discuss low—carbon and renewable energies among other key development issues, and review work reports of the two organizations, development strategies and the building of the academician force.
At the conference, the CAE is to elect its new president and members of the presidium.
A total of 27 senior engineers will be awarded the eighth Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Prize, and five scientists will be awarded the Tan Kah Kee Science Awards at the conference.
Academic workshops will also be held on the sidelines of the conference, which is the 15th academician conference of the CAS and the 10th academician conference of the CAE.