China’s development has provided its people with basic needs, and the next step will be to improve their quality of life, the new premier said at a press conference.


The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) reform includes better resource allocation to address challenges in core technologies and move faster towards greater self-reliance in sci and tech.

China’s national legislature has approved a reform plan for the State Council’s institutions, which includes restructuring the Ministry of Science and Technology, establishing a national data bureau, reforming intellectual property administration, and other initiatives.

China’s development has provided its people with basic needs, and the next step will be to improve their quality of life, the new premier said at a press conference following the conclusion of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC). Promoting high-quality development is one of China’s priorities, as stated by Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Monday.

According to Li, the development will be focused on improving technological innovation capabilities, constructing a modern industrial system, and promoting the green transition of development methods. Xiao Jie, State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council, stated at the first session of the 14th NPC that science and technology innovation are critical to China’s modernization efforts.

Faced with international competition in science and technology, as well as external containment and suppression, China needs to improve its leadership and management system for science and technology-related work, according to Xiao.

A number of existing ministry-subordinate functions and agencies will be transferred to other governmental bodies. “After the adjustment, the ministry’s functions will be more centrally organised, allowing it to play a larger role in macromanagement,” Xue Lan, dean of Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University, told China Newsweek.

The ministry will continue to manage the National Natural Science Foundation, which is in charge of basic research, basic infrastructure, and major projects, as well as addressing technological bottlenecks that require mobilisation of national resources, he added. The restructured ministry will serve as the working body of a newly established central science and technology commission as part of the reform.

The commission will be established to “better unify, coordinate, and mobilise various sectors,” according to Hong Xianghua, a professor at the CPC Party School, in an interview with China Media Group.

“It will play an important role in realising China’s self-reliance in science and technology, as well as in pooling resources to achieve breakthroughs in key technologies under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC),” he said.

Another significant step in the reform plan will be the establishment by China of a national data bureau. The bureau will be in charge of, among other things, advancing the development of data-related fundamental institutions, coordinating the integration, sharing, development, and application of data resources, and advancing the planning and construction of a digital China, a digital economy, and a digital society.

Duan Haixin, a professor at Tsinghua University’s Institute for Network Sciences and Cyberspace, believes the bureau will improve data management and governance efficiency by coordinating and developing data exchange standards.

According to a digital development plan released on February 27, China aims to make important progress in constructing a digital China by 2025 and rank among the top nations in digital development by 2035.

The bureau will promote innovation in data application and industrial development, such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things.

Data security is an important issue in the digital age, and the bureau can provide stronger protection for data security to prevent leakage and abuse. The action can further promote the construction of a global data governance system for services related to global data security and governance.

China will improve the management mechanism for intellectual property rights (IPR) to upgrade IPR creation, application, protection, and management.

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will be adjusted into an institution directly under the State Council to focus more on improving the quality of granted patents and trademarks to promote innovation and high-quality development.

China rolled out a plan for IPR protection in September 2021 to increase its intellectual property competitiveness and be among the top nations by 2035. China reportedly held the top spot in the world for the volume of international patent applications in 2022, filing over 70,000 applications for patent protection under its Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The national strategy to achieve self-reliance in sci and tech, against the backdrop of significant opportunities in the new scientific and technological revolution and intensified geopolitical external challenges, is served by all of these adjustments, from the reorganization of the Ministry of Science and Technology to the creation of the national data bureau and the upgraded position of CNIPA, according to a statement.