China’s AI industry embraces new opportunities for development


By Wang Zheng, People’s Daily

Beijing-based autonomous driving startup QCraft recently launched an advanced autopilot solution based on the Journey 5 processor developed by Horizon Robotics, a leader in computing solutions for intelligent vehicles.

The solution, called QCraft Chengfeng, can handle a wide range of complex urban traffic scenarios with higher-level assisted driving capabilities including unprotected left turns, pedestrian and vehicle avoidance, automatic lane changes, automatic turning, traffic light recognition, narrow road and congested roadway passing, and automatic yielding to obstacles.. It makes driving much easier.

Tianfu district in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province has built a digital twin platform for ecological governance under the assistance from tech firm CloudWalk Technology. The platform includes 18 intelligent gauging stations, five streamgages and 100 sets of surface fire probes. Real-time data are transmitted to the platform via over 200 front-end sensors. The artificial intelligence (AI) platform is able to well manage urban emergencies such as water quality retrievals and pollutions.

China has achieved positive progress in the AI industry in terms of technological innovation, industrial ecology and industrial integration over the recent years, becoming one of the best countries in the world in terms of AI development.

According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), the value of the core sectors of the China’s AI industry reached 508 billion yuan ($73.64 billion) last year, up 18 percent year on year.

China ranked first globally in terms of the number of AI-related invention patent applications. The CAICT estimated that Chinese entities submitted 389,000 such applications between 2013 and November 2022, or 53.4 percent of the world’s total, which stood at 729,000; among the 244,000 AI-related invention patents authorized in the world last year, 102,000, or 41.7 percent, came from China.

New progress has been achieved by relevant innovation carriers. A batch of new R&D institutions have made breakthroughs in AI models, AI computing processors and other areas. The country is also in a leading position in the world in terms of computing infrastructure. China has basically built a national integrated big data center system and is accelerating its steps to channel more computing resources from the eastern areas to the less developed western regions. It has established a batch of national open innovation platforms for a new generation AI technologies.

Chinese enterprises have made important breakthroughs in key technologies such as application algorithm, intelligent processors and open source framework. They are also leading the world in image recognition and voice recognition. A number of signature products including intelligent sensors and intelligent connected vehicles have hit the market.

The ecology of the AI industry is taking shape in China. So far, over 400 universities in China have set up AI-related majors and the country ranks second in the world in terms of the number of high-end AI talents. As of the end of 2022, there were 27,255 representative AI enterprises around the world, and 4,227, or 16 percent, were from China.

Three AI industrial clusters have been developed in China, which are in the Yangtze River delta, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Pearl River delta, respectively. The open AI platforms of Baidu, Alibaba, Huawei, Tencent, iFlytek, CloudWalk Technology and are now able to support the rapid development of the AI industry.

An Hui, deputy chief engineer of China Center for Information Industry Development, told People’s Daily that AI is well integrated with the primary, secondary and tertiary industries and is gradually seeping into the tourism and agriculture sectors. Intelligent finance, healthcare, security and transport have become hotspot scenarios of AI application, and the technology is also making smarter the designing, production, quality inspection and other key links of the manufacturing industry, An said.

An official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology noted that China will make more efforts to foster the AI industry and nurture a sound ecology for it during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

It will build innovation consortiums joined by enterprises of all sizes, universities and research institutes to strive for breakthroughs in key AI technologies and to improve China’s capability in developing smart processors, development framework and typical smart products. China will accelerate the application of AI in manufacturing, transport and energy industries, promote smart upgrading in key areas. The country will also build AI industrial clusters, foster a batch of leading AI enterprises with global competitiveness, and develop a batch of specialized and sophisticated enterprises that produce new and unique products.

Focusing on technological breakthroughs and the expansion of application, attracting global resources with China’s super-scale market, China’s AI industry is deeply integrating into the real economy and becoming a new growth driver. It is estimated that the output of the China’s AI industry will reach a trillion yuan by 2030.

Japan’s nuclear-contaminated water discharge plan extremely irresponsible


By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily

Groups of Japanese citizens recently gathered in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan to protest against Japan’s nuclear-contaminated water discharge plan.

They believe that it is criminal behavior to discharge the wastewater from Fukushima into the ocean.

However, the Japanese government has turned a deaf ear to the authoritative opinions from international organizations and dissenting voices both at home and abroad. It accelerated the construction of relevant facilities, claiming that it would not change its radioactive dumping plan this spring or summer.

The Japanese plan, which ignores the global marine environment and public health, is an extremely irresponsible practice.

It is reported that the wastewater discharge plan could take as long as 30 years. However, Japan has not yet provided ample scientific and factual proof to support the validity of its plan, and has not addressed the international community’s concerns over the legitimacy of the discharge plan, the reliability of data, the efficacy of the treatment devices and the uncertainty of environmental impact.

TEPCO, which is in charge of the plan, has a notorious record of concealing the truth and tampering with information. As early as April and May 2011, it dumped some radioactive water into the ocean, which has long discredited the country.

Kenichi Oshima, a professor at Ryukoku University, noted that TEPCO has only selected a small part of more than 1,000 nuclear wastewater storage tanks for testing in the power plant, and all the tests were done by the company itself without third-party verification.

The American journal Science also pointed out that TEPCO’s explanation lacked adequate evidence and was not trustworthy.

Suh Kune-yull, a professor emeritus of Nuclear Energy System Engineering at Seoul National University, said that digging an artificial lake of 200,000 square meters can fully meet Japan’s demand for dumping wastewater for the next 50 years. Japan could have chosen a better option, yet it has transferred the responsibility it should bear to all humankind, which is tantamount to launching a terrorist attack on the Pacific Ocean.

The marine environment concerns the interests of the entire international community. Discharging nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean is by no means a domestic affair for Japan.

After the dumping plan was announced, multiple countries including China, South Korea, Russia and the Philippines as well as relevant international organizations have expressed their concerns.

The Japanese government and TEPCO had pledged not to dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water without the understanding of the parties concerned, but now they insist on going against their promise.

Secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Henry Puna noted that the Japanese government had promised to stay in communication with Pacific Island countries on this matter and that the PIF would have access to all independent scientific and verifiable scientific evidence. He said that so far, unfortunately, Japan has not been cooperating and that they are breaking the commitment.

New Zealand sociologist Karly Burch from the University of Auckland noted that “Pacific peoples have a fundamental right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. By proceeding with this plan to discharge radioactive wastewater, the Japanese government is showing direct disregard for the sovereignty and self-determination of Pacific peoples.”

The Japanese side should respect the legitimate concerns of the international community, keep its word and dispose of the contaminated water in a responsible manner.

Japan is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the London Dumping Convention, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. By forcing the discharge plan, the country has seriously breached its obligations under international law.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has neither completed its assessment of Japan’s discharge plan nor drawn concrete conclusions, and all its three reports published so far pointed out the plan’s non-compliance with the agency’s safety standards and made recommendations for improvement.

The disposal of contaminated water spans a long time with many uncertainties. Japan should allow effective international supervision of wastewater discharge. Attempting to solve the problem by simply dumping the wastewater, Japan will never be trusted by the international community.

Over the recent years, the international community has strongly doubted and opposed the wrong unilateral decision of the Japanese government to discharge contaminated water into the ocean. The UN Security Council recently convened an open debate on sea-level rise and its implications for international peace and security, during which representatives from multiple countries voiced criticism of Japan’s steps to advance the discharge plan.

The PIF Special Leaders’ Retreat reiterated that Japan should guide its political decision to discharge treated radioactive wastewater into the ocean with science and data.

Many Japanese citizens also oppose the irresponsible practice of Japan. Over 90 percent of Japanese people believe the discharge would trigger negative results.

The National Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Japan and other civil society groups condemned the government for breaking promises and ignoring fishers’ interests.

The Japanese side ignored the legitimate concerns and appeals of the international society and its people, which will surely be condemned by the international community.

Japan should face up to the legitimate concerns of all parties, faithfully fulfill its international obligations, have full and meaningful consultation with stakeholders, and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner, so as to practically protect the marine environment and the health of people from all countries.

Japan must not start discharging the contaminated water into the ocean before reaching a consensus through full consultation with neighboring countries, relevant international agencies and other parties concerned.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)


There is no shortage of kindness and goodwill in China’s diplomacy


By He Yin, People’s Daily

In response to the initiative of President Xi Jinping of China’s support for developing good neighborly relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, delegations of the two countries recently held talks in Beijing.

In a joint statement released with China, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to reopen their embassies and diplomatic missions within two months, hold talks between their foreign ministers on the arrangement of ambassadors’ exchange, and explore ways to improve bilateral ties.

The Saudi-Iranian agreement to restore diplomatic relation was hailed by Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, as “a victory for dialogue and peace” and has been widely welcomed worldwide.

The kindness and goodwill in China’s diplomacy are reflected in the country’s efforts to expand all-round diplomacy in a coordinated manner and to build a new type of international relations. China has had a growing network of friends, made more and more new friends, and strengthened ties with old ones.

China has never and will never invade or bully others, or seek hegemony. The country will take it as its mission to defend its core interests. It firmly opposes any form of hegemonism and power politics, and firmly opposes the Cold War mentality, camp-based confrontation, and acts to contain and hold back other countries’ development. It will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

The kindness and goodwill in China’s diplomacy are reflected in the country’s efforts to promote common prosperity of the world with its own high-quality development.

Recently, the Chinese path to modernization has become a hot topic around the world. Chinese modernization offers solutions to many challenges facing human development. It busts the myth that modernization is westernization; it creates a new form of human advancement; and it provides an important source of inspiration for the world, especially developing countries.

China hopes and believes that as more and more countries begin their own journey of modernization, the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind will become true.

China’s development benefits the world and China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. Amid rising unilateralism and protectionism, China will solidly promote high-level opening up, not only making good use of the global market and resources to develop itself, but also promoting common development of the world.

The kindness and goodwill in China’s diplomacy are reflected in the country’s efforts to firmly uphold and practice multilateralism and actively improve global governance.

Through the past ten years, Xi has put forward a host of major initiatives and proposals, including building a community with a shared future for mankind, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the common values of humanity, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. The core message of these initiatives is that countries are interdependent, mankind have a shared future, and the international community must get united for cooperation.

China believes that global governance should be promoted in accordance with the law and the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter; equity and justice must be upheld while hegemonism and selfish interests must be rejected; solidarity must be defended while division and confrontation must be abandoned.

People in developing countries are entitled to a better life, and developing countries are entitled to greater representation and a louder voice in international affairs.

China will take multilateralism as the way forward. It will promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, promote greater democracy in international relations, and make global governance more just and equitable. It will offer more, better Chinese insight and solutions to help meet humanity’s common challenges.

This year, China will follow the guidance of head-of-state diplomacy. It will ensure the success of the two major diplomatic events that the country will host at home- the first China-Central Asia Summit and the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which will be the showcase of the distinctive character of China’s diplomacy.

The first China-Central Asia Summit is expected to mark the latest practice of China to build an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.

Ten years after its inception, the BRI has laid down a pathway toward common development, and created an array of national landmarks, livelihood projects, and milestones of cooperation. It  has brought nearly $1 trillion of investment, established over 3,000 cooperation projects, created some 420,000 jobs in countries along the routes and helped lift nearly 40 million people out of poverty.

As global development faces severe challenges, the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will promote high-quality development of Belt and Road cooperation and inject new impetus into building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The new journey of China’s diplomacy will be an expedition with glories and dreams, and it will also be a long voyage through stormy seas. China will continue to pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, and will continue to implement the mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. China will always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. It will keep writing new chapters in its distinctive major-country diplomacy in the new era.

China’s urbanization ushers in new stage


By Shi Ling, People’s Daily

Recently, the National Development and Reform Commission and other 18 Chinese departments jointly issued a document on guiding large settlement areas of poverty alleviation relocation to integrate into new-type urbanization for high-quality development.

Promoting the integrated development of more settlement areas and the towns they are located in is a necessary measure to consolidate the achievements of China’s poverty alleviation relocation.

Urbanization is the sure route to modernization. The promotion of urbanization is of huge significance for ensuring great performance in the work relating to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers, promoting coordinated regional development, expanding domestic demand and driving industrial upgrading.

The report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China said the country will thoroughly implement the new urbanization strategy, advance people-centered new urbanization and work faster to grant permanent urban residency to eligible people who move from rural to urban areas.

Never in history has a developing country as populous as China attempted to engineer a well-managed process of urbanization.

Foreign practices have proved that China cannot follow the beaten track of inefficient and blinkered development relying on borrowed money that damages the environment and results in an imbalance between population and land. That path will lead the country nowhere.

In the past decade, China has explored a path of a new type of urbanization that puts people first, integrates the development of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization, and features improved spatial layout, eco-environmental protection and preservation of Chinese cultural heritages.

On this path in the right direction, China is able to expand its domestic demand, improve labor productivity, break the urban-rural dual economic structure and promote social equality and common prosperity. It also benefits the global economy and ecological environment.

Cities are key elements driving the country’s modernization and an important carrier of high-quality development. To empower economic and social development, urban spatial layout and form must be constantly optimized.

City clusters and metropolitan areas shall play an important role in boosting the economy, expanding human carrying capacity and driving regional development. Besides, it is also important to guide the development of small- and medium-sized cities and boost the county’s economy so as to tackle “urban diseases.”

Today, China’s urbanization has entered a new stage, a key period when the country is transitting rapid development to a mature stage in its urbanization process.

China’s urbanization will target the coordinated development of large, medium-sized and small cities relying on city clusters and metropolitan areas, and focus more on county-level regions. It will offer ceaseless energy for the country’s high-quality development.

Over the recent years, many cities across China have been striving to build themselves into national civilized cities, implementing effective and targeted governance.

Urbanization calls for both physical expansion and releasing of cities’ potential. It should address problems emerging in development and meet the diversified demands of different groups.

Urban ecology shall be improved so as to provide citizens with pleasant natural landscapes and retain their love of nature. The public health system shall be enhanced so that people would gain more sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. A sound environment for entrepreneurship should be built so that talents have opportunities to make their own accomplishments. Each of these efforts calls for cities’ capability in urban planning, construction and governance.

People are at the core of the new type of urbanization. Promoting urban residency for rural people capable of securing a stable job in the cities remains the top priority of the new type of urbanization.

Over the past 10 years, China has granted urban residency to a total of 130 million rural-to-urban population and other permanent residents in cities.

To turn more rural-to-urban population into permanent urban residents, the country must deepen reform in its household registration system, improve education, health and other public services, and lift their vocational skills. As a result, they can truly fit into the new environment and embrace a new life.

When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, only 10.6 percent of Chinese people lived in cities. Now the figure soared to 65.2 percent as of the end of 2022. The country, which used to boast a huge rural population, is getting more and more urbanized today.

China to further expand opening up, boasts strong appeal


By He Yin, People’s Daily

In recent years, China has firmly expanded opening up and deepened international economic and trade cooperation with mutually beneficial outcomes. The country has well promoted high-quality development with high-level opening up.

Advancing high-level opening up is integral to building a new development pattern and pursuing high-quality development. China has actively built a “dual circulation” development paradigm, in which domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other with the domestic market as the mainstay.

Promoting high-level opening up can help domestic circulation improve its efficiency and quality with international circulation, and promote the integration at the stages of production, distribution, circulation, and consumption. It will usher in a higher-level dynamic balance in the Chinese economy as a result.

China is the world’s second-largest economy, which features strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality. It enjoys significant advantages in promoting high-level opening up.

The country is home to more than 1.4 billion people, including over 400 million middle-income earners. The middle-income group will keep expanding and the consumption structure will keep optimizing, which lays a solid foundation for promoting high-level opening up.

China is also a country that boasts the world’s most complete industrial system. Therefore, it is able to gather global factors and resources and thus build industrial and supply chains that are more innovative, secure, reliable and higher value-added. It guarantees the security for promoting high-level opening up.

China’s rapid technological development, mature national innovation system and improved innovation capability also inject a strong impetus into promoting high-level opening up.

China’s firm steps to advance high-level opening up create huge opportunities for its own development and also drive the recovery of the global economy.

As economic globalization is facing headwinds with rising protectionism over the recent years, China continued expanding high-level opening up and kept optimizing its business environment.

It has practically promoted high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, promoted the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and built the world’s largest free trade area.

China has been the world’s largest trader in goods for consecutive years, with an average annual growth of 8.6 percent in the past five years. It remains a major destination for global investment and a leading country in outbound investment.

As the global economy continues to face grave challenges and the global recovery still remains unstable and unbalanced, China is steadily expanding institutional opening up based on rules, regulations, management and standards, making important contributions to sharing development opportunities and achievements of economic globalization with other countries.

Zamir Awan, a sinologist for the Chinese Studies Center of Excellence at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan, noted that China’s opening up policies bring win-win cooperation, which benefits the whole world.

China’s economic growth over the past years has been achieved with a commitment to opening up. In the same vein, the high-quality development of China’s economy in the future can only be guaranteed with greater openness.

The government work report of the country this year stressed to widen market access, promote further opening up of modern service industries, and grant foreign-funded enterprises national treatment. It also vowed to improve services for foreign-funded companies and facilitate the launch of landmark foreign-funded projects.

This demonstrated to the world China’s sincerity and determination to promote development and win-win results through opening up.

As China unswervingly advances opening-up to cover more fields in a broader scope and at a greater depth, it will surely make greater contributions to global recovery.

Brazilian economist Ronnie Lins noted China’s commitment to promoting high-level opening up and comprehensively deepening reform will keep the gigantic ship of the Chinese economy in a lane of high-quality development and create huge opportunities for the global economy.

Opening up is a basic state policy of China, and also the hallmark of contemporary China. On the new journey, China will conform to the trend of economic globalization, pursue a more proactive opening up strategy, and build a new development pattern with high-level opening up, so as to build an open world economy and let the gains of development benefit more people across the world in a more substantial and equitable way.

China lauded for its constructive role in promoting resumption of ties between Saudi Arabia, Iran


By Zhou Zhou, People’s Daily

China, Saudi Arabia and Iran recently reached an agreement in Beijing and released a joint statement announcing that Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations.

This dialogue marked a successful practice of the Global Security Initiative, and the reconciliation between the two major countries in the Middle East has been welcomed by the international society. It is believed that China has played a constructive role in well managing today’s international hotspot issues.

The United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric applauded the agreement and praised China’s role in the process, saying “good neighborly relations” between Iran and Saudi Arabia are “essential” for the stability of the Gulf region.

The Arab Parliament noted the agreement not only helps recover stability and solve crises in the Middle East but also is conducive to safeguarding peace for all people in the world.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on social media that Saudi Arabia supports seeking political settlements and dialogues. He noted that countries in the region have a shared future and common interests, which makes it necessary for them to join together to build a model of prosperity and stability for their peoples to enjoy.

“Clearing up the misunderstandings and looking to the future in Tehran-Riyadh relations will definitely lead to the development of regional stability and security and expansion of cooperation,” said Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani. He appreciated China’s constructive role in supporting the development of relations between the two countries.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called the resumption of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia “fantastic news.” As a host of the dialogue, China has always played a constructive role in promoting the settlement of international issues and won trust and recognition from relevant countries, he noted, adding that China’s efforts are laudable and the country has demonstrated its leadership role in resolving disputes and encouraging solidarity.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said Saudi Arabia and Iran’s agreement to resume diplomatic relations will exert positive impacts on the region. He called on Arabs to engage in an Arab-Iranian dialogue based on respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and good neighborliness. He also hailed China and other countries for their efforts on related issues.

Iraqi Prime Minister’s Media Office said in a statement that the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran will promote harmony among Islamic countries, contribute to regional peace and stability and create more opportunities for regional development and prosperity.

Yemeni government said constructive dialogues and peace talks are the best approach to settling disputes and promoting peace for regional countries. It is hoped that the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran can alleviate tensions in the Middle East and help the region achieve stability and peace at an early date.

Member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs Diya Alhelmy said the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran demonstrates China’s wisdom and major country responsibility, adding that it has set a good example of settling disputes through peaceful means and made positive and admirable contributions to solving regional hotspot issues.

Hani Farid Wofaa, editor-in-chief of the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Riyadh, said dialogues are the best approach to responding to the concerns of all relevant parties, and Saudi Arabia and Iran’s decision to resume diplomatic relations was in response to China’s initiative for developing good neighborly relations between the two countries.

Respecting the sovereignty of states and not interfering in the internal affairs of states remains an important principle that must be upheld by the two countries in resuming ties, and their resumption of diplomatic relations will surely place positive impacts on the stability of their own, of the region, and of the world at large, the editor-in-chief added.

Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi with the University of Tehran said China has played a constructive role in promoting the resumption of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia. China’s active mediation brings countries closer and contributes to regional security and stability, he noted, adding that dialogues are conducive to promoting peace, stability and people’s wellbeing.

China to benefit world with more sci-tech innovation achievements


By He Yin, People’s Daily

Sci-tech innovation remained one of the important topics that received wide attention from the international society during this year’s “two sessions,” the annual gatherings of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

As international sci-tech cooperation faces impacts and challenges from unilateralism and protectionism pursued by a few countries, China, while working to improve its capability in sci-tech innovation, is committed to launching sci-tech cooperation with other countries, for which it has won wide applause.

China is constantly making important original sci-tech achievements today.

China’s space station, Tiangong, features a basic three-module configuration consisting of the core module, Tianhe, and two lab modules, Wentian and Mengtian. It is designed to be a versatile space lab, capable of accommodating 25 experiment cabinets for scientific exploration.

China has achieved rapid quantum computer development, with the launches of “Jiuzhang,” “Zuchongzhi,” and “Zuchongzhi 2” in recent years. Similar to conventional computers, quantum computers also need software to manage hardware devices, run applications, and provide a user interface.

Claudia Vernotti, co-founder and director of of Belgian non-profit organization ChinaEU, said that China’s progress in sci-tech innovation is very impressive, from the top-level design to the translation of achievements and to the innovation in commercial models.

If there is a lush forest, giant trees naturally grow there, and China has long been nurturing forests, said a recent report by Russian media outlet RIA Novosti.

China has always placed sci-tech innovation in a central place in its development strategy. It follows a path of independent innovation with Chinese characteristics. The importance attached by the country on sci-tech innovation, the frequency of policies it has issued to promote sci-tech innovation and the efforts it has made to advance sci-tech innovation are unprecedented.

China’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D increased to 3.09 trillion yuan ($449 billion) last year, from 1 trillion yuan in 2012. It accounted for 2.55 percent of the country’s GDP, up from 1.91 percent during the same period. The number of R&D personnel rose from 3.25 million in 2012 to over 6 million in 2022. The Chinese mainland has climbed to 11th place on the Global Innovation Index 2022 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), from 34th in 2012. The steady progress in the 10-year period is incomparable among all upper middle-income economies.

“China’s growth (in GII ranking) from 34th ten years ago to 11th (in 2022) … is really spectacular. The close attention paid by the government and the country to innovation as an engine of growth is paying off,” WIPO Director General Daren Tang said at the press launch of GII 2022.

“The Chinese government takes IP (intellectual property) very seriously. They have five-year strategic plans in which they are able to harmonize IP policy making with all the related elements. China nurtures its innovation ecosystem in a holistic, comprehensive manner,” he said.

To achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology is a path that China must take to promote high-quality development.

Education, science and technology, and human resources are the foundational and strategic pillars for building a modern socialist country in all respects. China regards science and technology as its primary productive force, talent as its primary resource, and innovation as its primary driver of growth. It has fully implemented the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, the workforce development strategy, and the innovation-driven development strategy.

With dynamic entities of innovation, policies to boost innovation and an increasingly better environment for innovation, the country will constantly enhance its capability in driving development with innovation and enjoy stronger power for high-quality development.

Openness and cooperation are the sure way to achieve progress in science and technology and growth of productivity.

To achieve common development, international cooperation as well as openness and sharing are needed more than ever. No country can become an innovation hub all by itself or keep all the outcomes of innovation to itself.

China actively shares sci-tech development outcomes with relevant parties, and attaches high importance to applying innovation outcomes in climate change response, energy, environment, agriculture, health and other sectors concerning human’s wellbeing. It makes China a better innovator and benefits the world with more of Chinese innovation achievements.

Bambang Suryono, chairman of Indonesian think tank Asia Innovation Study Center, noted deepening technological exchanges with China and introducing more Chinese innovative technologies will significantly improve the sci-tech level of developing countries and is conducive to narrowing the technological gap between themselves and developed nations.

Sci-tech innovation is a strong force driving human progress. China will stay committed to the innovation-driven development strategy, promote high-quality economic development with greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology, promote the openness, trust and cooperation of the international sci-tech community, and make greater contributions to human progress with more major innovative innovations and breakthroughs in key technologies.

China’s high-quality development contributes to global economic recovery


By He Yin, People’s Daily


The international community has paid high attention to the ongoing “two sessions” in China, looking forward to more positive messages of promoting high-quality economic development and injecting more vitality and confidence into the global economy that is facing downward pressure.


The annual meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) bring together thousands of national legislators and political advisors.


International personages have voiced support for China’s firm endeavor to pursue high-quality development unveiled in the meetings, believing that it will create more opportunities for the world and contribute to world economic recovery.


High-quality development is the first and foremost task in building a modern socialist country in all respects, said Chinese President Xi Jinping while attending a deliberation with his fellow deputies from the delegation of east China’s Jiangsu province at the first session of the 14th NPC on March 5.


During the deliberation, Xi stressed that efforts should be made to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, and better coordinate the effective upgrade in quality with the appropriate expansion in quantity in economic development.


China must unswervingly deepen reform and opening-up and transform the development model, and the happiness and well-being of the people are the ultimate goals of promoting high-quality development, Xi said.


The remarks have charted the course and provided fundamental guidance for advancing high-quality development under new conditions and further enhanced the international community’s confidence in China’s economic development.


China aims to expand its economy by around 5 percent in 2023, according to a government work report submitted to the national legislature for deliberation.


The international community generally believes that the growth target is scientifically reasonable and has demonstrated to the world its firm resolve to promote high-quality economic development.


During the past five years, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown to over 121 trillion yuan ($17.95 trillion) at an average annual rate of 5.2 percent in spite of multiple challenges, including the rapidly evolving international landscape, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and domestic economic downward pressure.


Over the past decade, the country achieved a medium-high rate of economic growth given its large economic aggregate and transitioned to high-quality development. During the period, the country’s GDP has increased by nearly 70 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 6.2 percent.


Such remarkable achievements have fully proven that the fundamentals remain unchanged, and the Chinese economy still enjoys strong resilience, enormous potential, great vitality and long-term sustainability.


International organizations and investment institutions have lifted their growth forecasts on China’s economic growth this year as a result of their growing confidence in its economy.


“If you are looking for growth, the answer is very simple. The next China is China,” said Joe Ngai, managing partner of McKinsey Greater China. The positive judgment on China’s economic outlook has sparked widespread resonance in the international community.


China accounts for more than 18 percent of the world economy and contributes around 30 percent to global economic growth. It ranks first globally in terms of trade in goods and services, and has become a major trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions.


The country has the world’s most complete and largest industrial system with strong industrial supporting capacity. It also enjoys great technological innovation capacity and industrial production capacity.


China is in the process of industrialization and urbanization. Its middle-income group is expected to exceed 800 million in the next 15 years, further driving the development of an enormous market.


During the past five years, China’s research and development (R&D) spending intensity has increased from 2.1 percent to more than 2.5 percent, and the contribution of scientific and technological progress to its economic growth has exceeded 60 percent, demonstrating the increasing capability to support development with innovations.


As of the end of 2022, China has registered over 52 million enterprises and 110 million self-employed individuals, indicating significant improvement in its endogenous driving force for development.


Such achievements have given China confidence on the path of its high-quality economic development, and made the international community optimistic about China’s economic growth prospects.


China accelerates the establishment of a new development pattern and remains committed to improving the quality of development while expanding high-level opening-up, injecting important momentum into global economic development.


Over the past five years, China’s total volume of trade in goods has surpassed 40 trillion yuan at an average annual growth rate of 8.6 percent, ranking first in the world for many consecutive years. Meanwhile, the country has been a major destination for foreign investment and a leading global outbound investor.


This year, China will prioritize the recovery and expansion of consumption, intensify efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment, steadily expand institutional opening-up, and continue the transition to green development. Such endeavors are expected to bring more opportunities to enterprises from all countries.


In January this year, China got off to a good start in attracting foreign investment, as the foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 14.5 percent year on year to 127.69 billion yuan.


Many foreign-funded companies regard China as one of the most important destinations for investment and plan to increase investment in the country.


China is advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Pursuing high-quality development is one of the essential requirements for the Chinese path to modernization.


Adhering to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, China will fully and faithfully apply its new development philosophy on all fronts, and accelerate creating a new development pattern.


It is ready to boost global economic recovery by promoting its high-quality development and create new opportunities for the world by striving for new achievements in development.


Cause of gender equality enjoys sustained, healthy development in China


By Zhou Shanshan, People’s Daily

Women’s status mirrors a country’s social etiquette and civility.

In China, female pediatric intensive care specialist Qian Suyun, who has nearly 40 years of pediatric experience, has brought a ray of hope to numerous children in emergency and critical conditions with her superb medical skills and ethics.

Bi Lixia, a woman that heads a rice farming cooperative in Jianli, central China’s Hubei province, has actively applied technologies in rice growing, contributing her strength to maintaining food security.

They are representatives of today’s females and have proven that women are creators of material and spiritual wealth and represent an important force driving social development and progress with concrete actions. Such progress is inseparable from the high-quality development of the cause of gender equality in China in the new era.

China attaches high importance to the cause of gender equality. In the country, women are able to exercise their democratic rights, participate in economic and social development, and benefit from the outcomes of reforms and development on an equal and legal basis.

So far, it has built a legal system for the protection of women’s rights and interests, which covers over 100 separate laws and regulations. The average life expectancy of women has exceeded 80 years. The gender gap in the nine-year compulsory education has been basically eliminated. Women accounted for over 50 percent of students in institutions of higher education.

As of the end of 2020, the number of women participating in maternity insurance had reached 103 million, and 650 million women participated in basic medical insurance. Women accounted for 40 percent of the labor force and 45.8 percent of the total science and technology personnel across China.

These sets of data reflect the efforts made by China to promote the cause of gender equality, the solid guarantee for women’s rights and interests, the broad rights and interests enjoyed by women, and the increasingly prominent role of women in economic and social development.

Women are gaining increasing senses of achievement, happiness and safety, and their confidence is growing in pursuing their own dreams.

In the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the country vowed to remain committed to the fundamental national policy of gender equality and protect the lawful rights and interests of women and children, eliminate unjustified restrictions and discrimination that undermine equal employment, and establish a policy system to boost birth rates. It has charted the course for achieving greater gender equality.

The cause of gender equality in China is entering a golden period featuring more benefits for women, a better development environment, and leapfrogging progress.

From finding a balance between work and family to breaking through the glass ceiling in the workplace, Chinese women’s development is supported by the entire society. As relevant parties work together to keep advancing the healthy development of gender equality, the cause will see broader and brighter prospects.

China accelerates modernization of industrial system


By Wang Hao, Qi Zhiming, Ge Mengchao, People’s Daily

Over the recent years, China has thoroughly implemented an innovation-driven development strategy to promote the optimization and upgrading of its industrial structure. Accelerating the modernization of the industrial system remained one of the key focuses of the government work report this year.

China boasts the most complete industrial system in the world, and the demand in its domestic market has the greatest potential globally. Accelerating the industrial structure upgrading and building a modern industrial system that’s independent, controllable, safe, reliable and highly competitive is key to future development.

Traditional industries are the foundation of the modern industrial system. At present, China is vigorously promoting the upgrading of traditional industries.

Traditional industries are moving towards higher-end, exploring new development paths.

Wang Lanyu, general manager of HBIS Group, a Chinese steelmaker, told People’s Daily that the company has been making ceaseless efforts to deepen supply-side structural reform, develop high-end products, and strive for a higher stage of well-adjusted balance where demand drives supply and supply, in turn, creates demand.

“We are exploring the new arena of intelligent connected new energy vehicles (NEVs) and have launched high-end smart electric vehicles to better meet the demand of the market,” said Zhang Xinghai, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and chairman of Seres, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer.

China has fastened its steps on a new path to industrialization as the industrial structure is optimizing and the quality of products keeps improving. High-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing accounted for 15.5 percent and 31.8 percent of the total value added of industrial enterprises above designated size, respectively. China has maintained the world’s largest producer and seller of NEVs for eight consecutive years.

Traditional industries are becoming intelligent and more competitive.

Only by grasping the opportunities of digital upgrading can enterprises stand out in fierce market competition, said Zhang Zhuang, mayor of Liuzhou, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. He noted that Liuzhou supports enterprises in digital transformation and is actively building national-level pioneering zones for connected vehicles and intelligent manufacturing.

“Digital technologies enable precision workshops to respond to every abnormal situation and reduce the processing period of core parts by 20 percent, which further lowers cost and improves efficiency,” said Ma Bing, an employee of Gentertec Qiqihar No.2 Machine Tool, a manufacturing enterprise for heavy-duty machine tools.

So far, China has built over 2,100 high-level digital workshops and smart factories, and industrial internet has been applied to 45 major categories of the national economy.

Ma suggested that enterprises should keep enhancing their capabilities in the application of digital technologies and software, as well as data management, saying efforts shall be made to guide enterprises to accelerate digital transformation in key links.

Traditional industries are also turning “green” and brimming with new vitality.

Aiming to build a waste-free county, Guangze county in east China’s Fujian province has managed to mix organic matters such as chicken manure and rice husks and turn them into fuel.

“We should promote clean production and circular economy, so as to achieve green and low-carbon development,” said Zhang Yuzhen, president of the Fujian Provincial Academy of Environmental Sciences.

Thanks to synergistic efforts to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, expand green development, and pursue economic growth, the country is seeing accelerated development of green and low-carbon production and lifestyles. The share of clean energy in total energy consumption increased from 20.8 percent to over 25 percent over the past five years.

While consolidating the dominant place of traditional advantageous industries, China is also fostering new growth drivers and new strengths.

According to the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the country will promote the integrated and clustered development of strategic emerging industries and cultivate new growth engines such as next-generation information technology, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, new energy, new materials, high-end equipment, and green industry.

The innovation-driven development strategy cultivates emerging industries. Liao Zengtai, head of Wanhua Chemical Group, told People’s Daily that leading enterprises should cooperate with universities and research institutes to contribute to the development of emerging industries with strategic importance.

“We have made breakthroughs in the optimization of storage technology, which makes the operation of mobile phones smoother,” said Feng Dan, dean of the School of Computer Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province. Industries, universities and research institutes should work together and turn frontier technologies into productivity, she added.

“Future industries are an opportunity that we should seize in the next round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation. Efforts should be made to develop core technologies in key sectors such as artificial intelligence and big data,” said Dong Jin, head of the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing.