Beijing,Dec 8 — Premier Li Keqiang underscored on Monday the need to strengthen China’s basic research in fields such as math, calling for all-around efforts to promote the integration of scientific and technological innovation with economic development to serve the country’s high-quality development.
Li made the remarks while presiding over a meeting of the National Science and Technology Leading Group. Li is the head of the group.
Addressing the meeting, Li stressed that innovation is the primary force to drive development. He pointed out the weak links in the country’s basic research, saying there is an urgent need to make breakthroughs in some core technologies in key fields.
China has entered a new stage of development that requires scientific and technological innovation to play a more prominent role in overcoming obstacles to the country’s development in order to shape new strengths in its growth, Li said.
He urged solid efforts to focus on basic research and applied basic research and to revitalize innovation capacity through bolder reforms.
Li also called for deep integration of science and technology with economic development, and enhancing the country’s overall strengths in science and technology to make it a solid support of China’s high-quality development.
While stressing the need to increase financial input in basic research, Li said the proportion of spending on basic research in overall scientific research should be markedly increased.
Through government support and the coordination of enterprises and social entities, China has substantially increased funding for basic research. Investment in basic research increased from 71.6 billion yuan ($10.9 billion) in 2015 to 133.56 billion yuan in 2019, with an average annual growth rate of 16.9 percent, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Policies should be improved to provide better treatment to professionals who are specialized in basic research to encourage them to make consistent efforts in making new discoveries and inventions, he said.
Equal importance should be given to applied research and market development of the results of scientific innovation in order to further promote basic research, create more jobs and enhance socioeconomic development, Li added.
He underlined the importance of reform in promoting technological innovation, and said institutional barriers should be removed to allow scientific researchers to be more active and creative in their work.
He mentioned the gap between China and the world’s advanced level in basic research and applied basic research, and called for international exchanges and cooperation in related fields.