China’s blueprint for innovation-led development

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 9 March 2024 at 01:42

China’s Minister of Education, Huai Jinpeng has shed light on the country’s ambitious blueprint for fostering an innovation-driven development landscape.

He was speaking at a press conference held on the sidelines of the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress in Beijing.

As Huai said, this vision is deeply rooted in the theoretical innovation introduced by General Secretary Xi Jinping, aiming at the heart of China’s modernization endeavor.

This roadmap on developing new quality productive forces lays down a future where China not only thrives on its manufacturing prowess but also leads in innovation, creativity, and technological advancement.

Huai outlined a transformative agenda that looks beyond the conventional, signaling a pivotal shift towards cultivating a high quality talent pool capable of driving this vision into reality.

The Minister provided a brief on the content, relevance, and pathways for nurturing these forces, insisting on the need to "develop a quality system, education system, and talent system to unclog the barriers restricting its development."

Echoing the government’s work report, Huai outlined a comprehensive strategy to "better the system to train talent at home and cultivate top innovators," acknowledging the indispensable role of high-caliber talent.

"To develop new quality productive forces, innovation is at core, and basic education is very important," he stated, reinforcing the belief that foundational knowledge coupled with advanced research and development capabilities are crucial for sustained innovation.

The plan recognizes the need for a diverse talent pool, comprising not only top scientists and engineers but also skilled craftsmen, outstanding team leaders in science and innovation, and a vibrant generation of young scientists.

This diversity underscores China’s strategy to harness comprehensive strengths across various sectors, ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to contribute to national development and technological innovation.

In line with the acceleration of technological innovation and industrial transformation globally, China aims to fortify its competitiveness by focusing on higher education and talent cultivation.

"China’s higher education is becoming more universally available, with a gross enrollment rate of more than 60%, and the world’s largest scale," Huai pointed out.

Besides, China seeks to become a leading education hub and a talent powerhouse, transforming demographic dividends into talent dividends.

The reform in higher education is pivotal in this journey, with an emphasis on "comprehensive reform to meet the demand of development and the society," as Huai remarked.

The aim is to foster a diversified development of universities, highlighting their uniqueness while focusing on disciplines most needed by the country.

Moreover, the integration of the education sector with industries and the emphasis on transferring research outcomes highlight a pragmatic approach towards achieving tangible results.

The press conference was also attended by China’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Wang Xiaoping, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Ni Hong, and Chief of the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration Wang Hesheng who gave a picture of past achievements and outlined new areas of priorities in respective institutions.

Speaking at the conference held in Beijing, March 9, 2024; China’s Minister of Education, Huai Jinpeng (first right) shed light on the country's ambitious blueprint for fostering an innovation-driven development landscape.

Théophile Niyitegeka / Beijing, China