President Xi Jinping has called for enhanced cooperation in science and technology between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the mainland, vowing support for the region to become an international center of innovative technology and for HKSAR scientists to contribute to national strength building in this regard.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made an important instruction and ordered timely actions to be taken in response to a letter written to him by 24 HKSAR-based academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering in June 2017.
In the letter, the academicians expressed their strong intentions to make contributions to the motherland and enthusiasm to boost sci-tech innovation.
A solid sci-tech foundation and a large number of sci-tech talent who love the country and Hong Kong, possessed by the HKSAR, are an important force in implementing the national strategy of innovation-driven development and making China a country of innovators, Xi said.
Promoting sci-tech cooperation between the HKSAR and the mainland, supporting the HKSAR to become an international center of innovative technologies, giving play to their own unique sci-tech strengths and contributing to economic development and improving people's living standards both in Hong Kong and the mainland are all part of the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in the HKSAR, he noted.
Great importance should be attached to the problems mentioned by the academicians in the letter, Xi said, urging more work on concrete measures and proper solutions to support HKSAR scientists in making contributions to national sci-tech strength building and national rejuvenation.
In accordance with Xi's instruction, related government departments have acted fast, and sci-tech cooperation between the mainland and HKSAR has been pushed forward in an orderly manner.
The problems mentioned in the letter, concerning national sci-tech funding and favorable policies on tariff for equipment transfers, have been basically resolved.
Sixteen partner labs of key state laboratories based in HKSAR and two partner labs in Macao Special Administrative Region have received direct support from national programs.
All scientific research institutions established in the mainland by the HKSAR have already been enjoying preferential tax policies to promote sci-tech innovation.
Overall institutional arrangements have also been made to offer direct financial support to scientific research in Hong Kong and Macao via related national programs.
Related departments will further support sci-tech personnel who love the country and Hong Kong to intensively participate in national sci-tech programs, as well as expand and deepen sci-tech cooperation between HKSAR and the mainland in an orderly way.