by Xinhua writer Zhao Yang
BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Faced with unprecedented challenges and uncertainties in the current world, China has resolutely taken the new development approach and is fostering advantages for its future development through multiple strategies.
Emphasizing the significance of an innovation-driven development strategy for the country's future, China has worked hard to improve self-reliance in science and technology.
The country places sci-tech innovations high on its agenda to increase its competitiveness, growth impetus, and sustainability. Since 2012, the prominence of innovation has been upgraded in national strategies several times.
After implementing innovation-driven development, China stresses innovation as the primary engine for development and sticks to the central role of innovation in its modernization drive.
A raft of measures have been taken amid China's bid to increase sci-tech strength. It has laid a solid foundation for sci-tech innovation by building vital science and technology infrastructure and scientific apparatus, such as the five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, the HL-2M Tokamak, China's next-generation "artificial sun," the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility as well as supercomputers.
Various major strategic national sci-tech projects have been implemented in multiple frontier fields, including artificial intelligence, quantum information, integrated circuit, life and health, brain science, biological breeding, space science and technology, and deep earth and sea exploration.
To realize high-quality sci-tech development, China is underpinning innovative and pioneering sci-tech research to make breakthroughs in core technology bottlenecks.
It is also pushing reforms to facilitate effective allocation of innovation resources based on market demand, cultivate innovation talents, and stimulate the innovation vitality of various talents.
With sustained endeavors to increase the vitality of innovation, China rose to 12th on the Global Innovation Index 2021 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, up by 10 places from its 2017 ranking. The country also remained the only middle-income economy to rank in the top 30, said the organization.
As China enters a new era of high-quality development, sci-tech innovation will continue to work as a driving force. Efforts will be made to keep up with the leading edge of international sci-tech development, shore up innovation-driven development, and fine-tune the national system for innovation, according to the country's economic and social development blueprint for the next five to 15 years.
The country will increase average annual spending on research and development by at least 7 percent and ensure the added value of strategic emerging industries account for over 17 percent of its GDP, said the blueprint.
With a vast territory and a large population, China is among the few countries globally to see huge differences in natural resources endowment among different regions. Therefore, coordinating regional development has always been a major topic in its development.
The spatial structure of China's economic development is undergoing profound changes, as central cities and city clusters are becoming pillars for development.
As coordinated regional development takes place nationwide, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area are evolving into leading bases for high-quality development.
China is striding forward in coordinating ecological protection and economic development in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Yellow River basin, while developing the western regions, revitalizing the northeastern regions, accelerating the rise of central regions, and encouraging eastern regions to accelerate modernization.
In January 2021, the Beijing-Harbin high-speed railway started operation, strengthening the tie between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the northeastern regions. The railway is among China's major projects, which lay the cornerstone for its modernization.
Hailed as the "new gateway" to China, the Beijing Daxing International Airport has seen its total passenger throughput around 40 million, flight operations over 300,000, and cargo and mail throughput top 200,000 tonnes since it began functioning in 2019.
China's infrastructure construction has seen notable achievements, leading the world in terms of the length of expressways opened to traffic. The country is home to seven of the world's top ten mega ports by throughput, and its high-speed railway covers about 95 percent of cities with a population over 1 million.
National mega projects in various fields are expanding the boundary of exploration in scale and quality. For example, the Baihetan hydropower station, a major project in China's west-east power transmission program, is the largest and most technically difficult hydropower project under construction in the world currently. Once all units are constructed and put into operation in July 2022, it will become the second-largest hydropower station globally in terms of installed capacity, second only to the Three Gorges Dam project.
To improve the quality of its development, China well addressed the prominent issues in the world today by applying the new development philosophy.
Faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the upsurge in deglobalization and protectionism, China has strived to increase domestic demand through campaigns such as promoting consumption, urbanization, rural vitalization, as well as supporting emerging industries and business forms.
In the meantime, the country pushed its opening-up to a higher level, further optimizing the business environment, adding free trade areas, ramping up Belt and Road cooperation, and holding various expos for goods and services.
To contribute to the global course of tackling climate change, China has announced that it will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. It has also made continuous efforts to foster green development and worked hard in eco-environmental protection.
The 2020 report on China's ecological environment showed that the country's key environmental targets for 2016-2020 and the year 2020 have been over-fulfilled. The quality of China's ecological environment has significantly improved.