Xi Jinping Calls for China to Strengthen Basic Research and Scientific Independence

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for China to adopt measures to strengthen its basic research capabilities as well as its independence in terms of scientific and technological development.

The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its third collective study session on strengthening basic research on the afternoon of 21 February.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said that that “strengthening basic research is an urgent requirement for achieving high-level scientific and technological self-reliance and self-improvement, and is the only way to create a global scientific and technological power.”

“Party committees and governments at all levels should include strengthening basic research into the critical agenda of scientific and technological work, as well as strengthen overall coordination, increase policy support, and promote the high-quality development of basic research.”

In terms of specific measures, the study session called for:

  • Adhering to the goal-oriented and free exploration of “walking on two legs.”
  • Integrating the world’s cutting-edge science and technology with China’s major strategic needs and economic and social development goals.
  • Strengthen national strategic scientific and technological capabilities, organize and promote strategy-oriented systematic basic research, frontier-oriented exploratory basic research, and market-oriented applied basic research.
  • Focus on giving full play to the leading role of national laboratories and the institutional organizational role of national scientific research institutions.
  • Optimise the arrangement of basic disciplines, support the development of key disciplines, emerging disciplines, unpopular disciplines and weak disciplines; promote interdisciplinary integration and interdisciplinary research, and build a high-quality system with comprehensive and balanced development.
  • Coordinate the development of a national laboratory system with Chinese characteristics, lay out the development of basic discipline research centre, deploy new scientific research digitised basic platforms in advance, and form a strong basic research backbone network.
  • Invest greater efforts to build a systematic and high-level basic research talent training platform, so that a greater volume of basic research talent can emerge.