Jiangsu urged to take the lead in advancing nation's modernization drive, tech innovation
President Xi Jinping has reemphasized the importance of promoting scientific and technological self-reliance and developing the real economy in pursuing high-quality growth, during his inspection in Jiangsu, an economically advanced province in East China.
The three-day inspection tour, which concluded on Friday, took Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, to Suzhou and Nanjing, where he visited an industrial park, enterprises, a historical and cultural block, and a science laboratory.
It was Xi's fourth fact-finding inspection tour to Jiangsu since he became general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in 2012.
Analysts said that Xi's choice of Jiangsu as the destination for his inspection tour at the midyear juncture is key to formulating development strategies, deploying economic work, and achieving the goals and tasks of economic and social development for the entire year. It also demonstrates his unwavering focus on the "first and foremost task" of high-quality development as the nation embarks on a new modernization journey.
During his inspection tour, Xi urged Jiangsu to act as a pacesetter in the country's modernization drive. As Jiangsu enjoys a strong industrial base, abundant scientific and educational resources, a favorable business environment and a huge market, Xi said the province has the capability and responsibility to be a pioneer in advancing Chinese modernization.
There are high expectations for Jiangsu because of its unique role in the nation's overall economy. In 2022, Jiangsu's GDP was more than 12 trillion yuan ($1.66 trillion), ranking second among all provincial-level regions. It plays an important role in the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and is a vital cog in the overall high-quality development of the country.
"Scientific and technological innovation" was one of the key phrases used by Xi during his tour, which, he said, was crucial to Chinese modernization. He told local officials that Jiangsu should take the lead in making new breakthroughs in scientific and technological innovation, creating an important national hub for industrial technological innovation and promoting innovation-driven, high-quality development.
Last year, Jiangsu's total R&D investment reached 370 billion yuan, according to the province's Department of Science and Technology. There are more than 37,000 high-tech companies in the province.
Xin Ge, an associate professor of the School of Public Economics and Administration at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said he was impressed by Xi's visit to Suzhou Industrial Park and high-tech enterprises, where the president highlighted the pivotal role of innovation within an enterprise.
Xi's first stop during his Jiangsu tour was aimed at inspecting the construction and development of the high-tech industrial park and technological innovation at enterprises, offering further guidance for effectively achieving the task of high-quality development, Xin said.
In April, the first meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform under the 20th CPC Central Committee deliberated and approved documents on strengthening the principal position of enterprises in sci-tech innovation.
This document underscored the need to increase support for enterprise-level innovation, actively foster and effectively guide the involvement of private enterprises in major national innovations, and amplify the role of enterprises in spearheading core technological advancements in key fields.
In Nanjing, Xi emphasized the need to strengthen the real economy and build a modern industrial system. It is necessary to promote the deep integration of the digital economy with advanced manufacturing and modern service industries, and to accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system with advanced manufacturing as its backbone, he said.