Capacity for innovation key to progress

At a national conference held on Wednesday in Beijing, two Chinese scientists, aircraft designer Gu Songfen and nuclear expert Wang Dazhong, were awarded China's top science award for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.

The research group led by Zhong Nanshan that helped spearhead China's fight against COVID-19 received the team award.

The nation's top science award was initiated in 2000, and no more than two scientists are granted an individual award every year for their contributions to the cause of science and technology in the country. A total of 35 scientists have won awards in the past more than two decades.

With the country's economic development having reached a stage where transformation of its industrial structure is key to its sound and sustainable progress, innovations and breakthroughs in key areas have never been so essential.

The restrictions imposed by some countries on exports of key technologies to China speak volumes about how important it is for China to depend on its own scientific efforts to advance its development.

As President Xi Jinping said earlier this year, China cannot ask for, buy or beg for core technologies in key fields from other countries. "Only by holding these technologies in our own hands can we ensure economic security, national security and security in other areas."

Only by developing technologies endogenously can China safeguard its future development.

The great leaps forward China has made in a wide range of areas, which have greatly promoted its development, can be attributed to the painstaking efforts of scientists such as Gu and Wang, and researchers such as Zhong and his team. The dedication of Chinese scientists to their work has made the country a leading innovator.

From the design of jet aircraft and nuclear reactors to its COVID-19 research and more, it is inspiring to see what China is doing.

However, the country still has a long way to go as far as basic scientific research is concerned. More money needs to be spent on basic research to consolidate the foundation for long-term and sustainable development of the country's science and technology.

More needs to be done to train more scientists who are willing to bury themselves in basic research. And better material conditions and a conducive environment need to be forthcoming so these scientists can focus on their research.

China knows well how the development of science and technology is propelling its modernization. And the development of its capacity for innovation will not only promote its own progress, but also contribute to the progress of human civilization at large.