Strengthen Basic Research Imperative For Self Reliance In Sci & Tech

Third group study session of Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on strengthening basic research was held on Tuesday afternoon, and it was presided over by Xi Jinping.

Strengthen Basic Research Imperative For Self Reliance In Sci & Tech

The third group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on strengthening basic research was held on Tuesday afternoon, and it was presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Xi emphasised the importance of basic research to achieve higher levels of self-reliance and greater strength in science and technology.  Professor Gong Qihuang gave a lecture on the importance of basic research and Xi made an important speech.

Xi emphasised that the Party and the government have always valued research and that a new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial transformations is underway. Interdisciplinary research and integration are progressing, and scientific research paradigms are undergoing important transformations.

According to Xi, it is critical to address major technological challenges from the source and the bottom in order to respond to international science and technology competition, achieve higher-level self-reliance and greater strength in science and technology, foster a new development pattern, and promote high-quality development.

Xi stressed that we must strengthen the forward-looking, strategic, and systematic layout of basic research, which is the initial end of the scientific research chain from research to application and then to production.

“We must adhere to the principles of targeting global scientific and technological frontiers, serving the economy, meeting major national needs, and striving to improve people’s lives and health. We must integrate frontier science and technology with the major national strategic needs and economic and social development goals.”

“We should keep abreast of the sci-tech trends and the strategic needs of the country, strengthen feasibility studies, select and evaluate major basic research projects, give full respect to the opinions of scientists, grasp the general trends, and make “a good first move.”

Strengthen China’s capabilities in strategic science and technology by encouraging systematic basic research with a strategic focus, exploratory research, and applied research with a market-oriented focus.

“We should exploit the roles of national laboratories, national research institutes, top-tier research universities, and leading sci-tech companies to create a high-quality discipline system with thorough and balanced development. We should optimize the layout of fundamental disciplines, support the growth of important, emerging, underdeveloped, and weak disciplines, and encourage the integration of disciplines as well as interdisciplinary research.”

Xi noted that the world has entered an era of “big science” and the impact of institutional support and policy guidance on the output of basic research is becoming increasingly strong.

To address this, it is important to deepen the reform of systems and mechanisms of research, increase financial investment, encourage enterprises to increase investment, encourage non-governmental sectors to invest through diverse channels, and improve the funding capacity of the National Natural Science Foundation of China. This will create an investment mechanism for basic research that combines both competitive and stable support.

“We should optimize the support system for the research within the national science and technology plan, improve the mechanisms for the organisation, submission, assessment, and decision-making of basic research projects, adopt differentiated and classified management, organize coordinated efforts to tackle key scientific problems, encourage studies based on free exploration and non-consensus innovation, and handle the relations between a new “whole-nation system” and the market mechanism.”

Xi stressed that a national laboratory system with Chinese characteristics should be established, research centres for basic scientific disciplines should be founded, and a new information-based platform for scientific research should be deployed in advance.

To build a backbone network for research, scientists should plan the layout for major scientific and technological infrastructure that is forward-looking and leading, strategically oriented, and supports application.

To win the critical battle in developing scientific and technological apparatus, operating systems, and basic software domestically, scientific research institutions, universities, and enterprises should be encouraged to launch joint projects for breakthroughs.

Support from various talent training plans must be beefed up, strategic scientists must be cultivated and used; young scientific and technological talents should be supported to shoulder important duties; and teams of leading scientific and technological personnel and first-class innovation teams should be continuously expanded.

The mechanism for differentiated evaluation of basic research talents must be optimized, and the mechanism that provides long-term support for them should be given greater say in terms of human, financial, and material resources and the choice of technical routes. Efforts must also be made to improve the academic atmosphere

Xi stressed that to overcome common development challenges, humanity needs international cooperation, openness, and sharing.

To do this, China should build a platform for international cooperation in basic research, step up the opening-up of national science and technology programs, broaden and deepen joint scientific research between China and foreign countries on climate change, energy security, bio-security, outer space utilization, and other global issues, have forward-looking plans and participate in global science and technology governance, join or initiate the establishment of international science and technology organizations, and support domestic universities and institutes to establish connections with international counterparts.

Xi emphasised that generations of science and technology personnel have jointly shaped China’s innovation ecology through their pursuit of the spirit embodied in the development of atomic and hydrogen bombs, missiles, artificial satellites, manned spaceflight, lunar exploration, and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

To further develop the research, it is necessary to promote the scientific spirit of pursuing truth and scaling new heights, widely publicize role models and deeds emerging in science and technology fields, educate and guide personnel to inherit the glorious traditions of the previous generations of scientists, and base their research on the land of China.

Xi emphasized the need to strengthen China’s capacity for science popularization, boost scientific literacy, disseminate scientific knowledge and showcase technological achievements, and establish a social trend of love for and advocacy of science.

To ease the burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring for students undergoing compulsory education, efforts should be made to promote science education, stimulate curiosity, imagination, and exploratory desires of young people, and cultivate a group of young people with the potential to become scientists.

Officials at all levels should learn science and technology knowledge, carry forward the scientific spirit, proactively take the lead in solving difficulties for science and technology personnel, and implement the Party Central Committee’s series of strategic deployments on science and technology innovation.