BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists and research projects were honored Friday with national science awards in a high-profile event to recognize the innovative spirit that is key to the country's future development.
The Chinese government has prioritized innovation and decided in 2012 to take an innovation-driven development strategy in a bid to increase production and boost the overall national strength.
Basic research, a fundamental source of innovation, has received longer and more stable support, while the transformation of science and technology achievements has been emphasized.
The country has accelerated the construction and improvement of a national innovation system, allowing scientists more say on research choices and encouraging enterprises to play a bigger role in R&D investment.
Painstaking efforts have resulted in great progress. The research programs honored on Friday, including the invention of a highly effective catalyst for drug production and a stem-cell treatment for lupus, are among the long list of China's advances in recent years.
China's pursuit of innovation, largely relying on sci-tech progress, has a clear reason: China will not go back to its old development path of high energy-consumption, severe pollution and cheap labor.
China is striving to shift to middle and high-end manufacturing industries, and it needs to upgrade technologies.
China pledges to cut its carbon emissions and return blue skies and clean water to its people, and it needs solutions from science and technology.
Almost every aspect of the lives and living standards of China's 1.4-billion people - stable economic growth, a better environment, safe food, new medicines and fast transport - calls for innovation.
China has encouraged science and technology to solve its development problems.
Take green development, for example. Chinese researchers have won the national science award for developing a clean system to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, as coal still accounts for 59 percent of the national energy consumption.
At Friday's ceremony, scientists won awards for technologies that could help detect pollutants from agricultural products, prevent water pollution in paper-making and kill pests with green preparations.
Meanwhile, China has also brought great benefits to the world with its technological achievements. Advanced technology and products from China have played a key role in promoting sustainable development and improving people's livelihood in the developing countries.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has provided more than 1.8 billion yuan (about 260 million U.S. dollars) for construction of science and technology projects in association with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2013, benefiting many Asian and African countries.
Chinese agriculture scientists have bred new rice varieties named Green Super Rice with high and stable yields to help reduce hunger and increase local farmers' incomes in developing Asian and African countries.
China has also opened its planned space station to international payloads, and invited scientists around the world to participate in its future missions to explore the moon, asteroids and comets.
China has been frank in showing the reasons for and goals of its innovation drive. For those countries who adopt an open and inclusive attitude as China does, they shall be rewarded with many a new opportunity through scientific exchanges and cooperation with China.