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China to build Beijing into global innovation hub

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China is striving to build its capital Beijing into a global sci-tech innovation hub by 2025, said senior officials at a press conference on Wednesday.

XinhuaUpdated: January 20, 2021

China is striving to build its capital Beijing into a global sci-tech innovation hub by 2025, said senior officials at a press conference on Wednesday.

The city's creativity, competitiveness and influence in innovation are expected to reach the top level globally as of 2035, said vice mayor Jin Wei.

It is a strategic move to improve the country's national strategic strength in science and technology during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), said Li Meng, vice minister of science and technology.

China has pledged to support the building of international science and technology innovation centers in Beijing, Shanghai, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, according to the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's development proposals.

Li said the ministry and the Beijing municipal government have coordinated with 21 departments including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to roll out an action plan for the construction of Beijing international sci-tech innovation hub.

China will further support national laboratories in Beijing and establish an innovation center for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Efforts will be made to foster basic research and promote key and core technologies in frontier areas including quantum information, artificial intelligence, blockchain and health, according to Li.

Beijing will improve its governance system for science and technology, stimulate the innovation and creativity of talents and build up influence through sci-tech cooperation, Li said.

"Beijing will be further integrated into the global innovation network through setting up global scientific research funds and strengthening joint research on global issues including climate change, energy, public health and artificial intelligence governance," Li said.

"Beijing has abundant innovation resources, with over 90 universities, 1,000 scientific research institutes and nearly 30,000 state-level high-tech enterprises. Around 128 state key laboratories are located in Beijing," Li added.

Joint efforts and more resources will be injected into Beijing to strengthen its sci-tech foundations, highlight its advantages and cultivate a friendly environment for innovation, according to Jin.

"Beijing will further develop its advantages in key fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum communication. It will promote the integration of research and production of the integrated circuit, and make breakthroughs in new materials, key parts and high-end equipment," Jin said.

Beijing will tighten the interlinking of innovation, industries and supply chains. To turn into a smart city, Beijing will boost new infrastructure construction. It will also develop new high-value industry clusters in the fields of smart manufacturing, healthcare and green and smart energy, according to Jin.

Beijing will create an innovation-friendly environment by exploiting the policy advantages enjoyed by its Zhongguancun national demonstration area for independent innovation, as well as its own positioning as a national comprehensive demonstration zone for service industry opening-up and a pilot free trade zone.

The Chinese capital will strengthen the foundation for industrial development and accelerate the construction of new infrastructure, according to Liu Duo, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

To increase the pace of Beijing's 5G network construction, the MIIT will support the city in building the world's largest 5G test ground and encourage enterprises at home and abroad to conduct related technological research and testing. Moreover, it will support the city in developing the industrial Internet and car networking.

By the end of 2020, Beijing had more than 37,000 5G stations citywide, with 5G connections in most urban areas.