Li: China will continue boosting science, technology innovation

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets the press after the closing of the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 11, 2021. Li took questions from Chinese and foreign reporters via video link. [Photo/Xinhua] China will continue to scale up inputs in driving scientific and technological innovations for the next five years, and more efforts will be made to encourage the private sector’s participation in research and development, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

“Companies are the most important force in making such innovations during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period,” Li said at a news conference after the National People’s Congress held the closing meeting of its annual session in Beijing. “We need to rely on private actors in boosting their R&D spending, and we will also rely on institutionalized arrangement in terms of policy support.”

According to him, China has decided to introduce the tax incentive of raising the extra tax deduction on the R&D expenses of manufacturing enterprises to 100 percent in order to encourage companies to scale up inputs in research and development.

Li noted Chinese efforts to strengthen its science and technology sectors is also compatible with promoting international cooperation and exchanges among global scientists.

“Scientific explorations, discoveries and inventions call for cooperation and joint efforts,” Li said. “Isolation will lead nowhere, and severance of industrial or supply chains will do no one good. Based on protecting intellectual property, China is ready to enhance cooperation with all other countries in science and technology to jointly promote progress of human civilization.”

While China has achieved major breakthroughs in scientific and technological innovations, the country still lags behind in terms of basic research.

Official data showed spending on basic research only accounted for 6 percent of total R&D spending, whereas the number for developed countries ranges between 15 and 25 percent.

The country will continue to increase spending on basic research and carry out institutional reforms regarding scientific and technological innovations, Li said.

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