Innovation key to green, high-quality development push
President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to further promote the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, to enable it to play a greater role in making breakthroughs in core technologies and in maintaining the national security of food, energy and industrial and supply chains.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark on Thursday while chairing a symposium in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, on advancing the development of the economic belt.
He emphasized the need to adhere to green development and coordinate ecological conservation and socioeconomic growth through technological innovation, and to make the national strategy of the Yangtze River Economic Belt better support and serve Chinese modernization.
Jiangxi is part of the economic belt, which consists of 11 provincial-level regions, stretching from inland Sichuan province in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River to coastal Shanghai. Official data shows that the region covers 40 percent of the country’s population and accounts for over 40 percent of the national gross domestic product.
Since China made the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt a national strategy seven years ago, Xi has chaired four themed symposiums. The first three were held in Chongqing in January 2016, Wuhan, Hubei province, in April 2018 and Nanjing, Jiangsu, in November 2020.
During Thursday’s symposium, which also was attended by senior officials from the central authorities and relevant provinces and municipalities, Xi commended the significant achievements in implementing the development strategy of the economic belt, highlighting the efforts in environmental protection and innovation-driven development.
However, he pointed out that it is important to recognize that ecological conservation and high-quality development of the economic belt are at a critical turning point, and there are still many difficulties and problems that need to be resolved.
Noting that the development of the economic belt is crucial to the overall development of the country, Xi said it is necessary for the regions involved in the national strategy to coordinate development and security, and play a greater role in maintaining the nation’s security in such areas as food, energy, industrial and supply chains and water.
It is important to make greater efforts to protect the environment of the basin of the Yangtze, the country’s longest river, and to avoid excessive development, Xi said. He underlined the need to reduce carbon emissions and pollution and enhance green development through industrial transformation.
Regarding innovation-driven development, Xi called for transforming the strength of the economic belt in scientific and technological research and talent resources into fresh momentum for development.
Progress must be made in making breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields, promoting the modernization of industrial and supply chains and enhancing the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, he said.
Strategic emerging industries should be developed, and integration of the digital economy with the real economy should be promoted, he added.
Xi also emphasized the need to leverage the geological positions of the economic belt to better connect domestic and international markets.
Greater efforts should be made to expand international economic cooperation, better leverage the role of free trade pilot zones along the Yangtze River, act as a pioneer in institutional innovation, and explore new paths for building a higher-level open economy, he said.
Xi emphasized the need to strengthen regional coordination and integration, with a focus on interprovincial cooperation, ecological governance and shared development.
Efforts should be made to enhance regional transportation connectivity and ensure that policies are consistent, rules are uniform and actions are coordinated among regions involved in the economic belt, he said.
While asking officials from Party committees and governments at various levels to shoulder their responsibilities for promoting the development of the economic belt, Xi said that various enterprises and social organizations should be guided to actively participate in the development of the economic belt.
It is also necessary to increase input in manpower, materials and financing, he added.
By Cao Desheng | China Daily [email protected]