New productive forces key to growth, Xi says

2024-02-02 08:32:46China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Session: Vision points way to sustainable growth

President Xi Jinping has underlined the key role of new productive forces in underpinning China's high-quality development, saying that the nation must beef up innovation in science and technology to attain a high level of sci-tech self-reliance.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Wednesday expounded on the theory of new productive forces while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the Party's core leadership.

The study session included contributions by He Lifeng and Zhang Guoqing, both vice-premiers, and Ma Xingrui and Yuan Jiajun, the Party secretaries of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Chongqing municipality, respectively.

Xi stressed the need to always keep in mind that high-quality development is the fundamental principle for the new era.

He urged efforts to ensure the sound implementation of strategic tasks such as accelerating the construction of a modern economic system, advancing high-level sci-tech self-reliance, speeding up the formation of a new development pattern and coordinating the deepening of reforms and high-level opening-up.

He stressed the need to guide the nation's high-quality development with new theories on productivity, with new productive forces having already taken shape and served as a strong impetus and pillar of high-quality growth.

Xi said that new productive forces are mainly driven by innovation and characterized by high-technology, high efficiency and high quality.

New productive forces, spawned by revolutionary technological breakthroughs, the innovative allocation of factors of production and the transformation and upgrading of industries, are characterized mainly by a significant increase in productivity, he added.

Xi first mentioned the term "new productive forces" during a fact-finding trip to Heilongjiang province in September.

The annual tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference in December reemphasized the need to spur industrial innovation with sci-tech innovation, especially using disruptive and cutting-edge technologies to spawn new industries, new models, and new growth momentum.

In his 2024 New Year address, Xi underscored that new-energy vehicles, lithium batteries and photovoltaic products "are a new testimony to China's manufacturing prowess".

According to Chinese Customs, the value of the nation's exports of the three products grew 29.9 percent year-on-year to 1.07 trillion yuan ($149.7 billion) in 2023.

Xi reiterated on Wednesday that sci-tech innovation is the core element for developing new productive forces.

China must perform well in the battle to develop core technologies so that original and disruptive sci-tech innovation outcomes can keep emerging, thus harnessing the new momentum for developing new productive forces, he said.

He highlighted the need to apply sci-tech innovations in industries and industrial chains to upgrade traditional sectors, expand emerging industries and plan for the development of future industries.

Xi laid out requirements to plan the development of industry chains centered on new productive forces to make industrial and supply chains more resilient and secure, and ensure that the industrial system is independent, secure and reliable.

Green development is the underlying part of high-quality development, and new productive forces are essentially green, he said.

China must expedite the green transformation of growth models to aid its goal of peaking carbon emissions before 2030 and attaining carbon neutrality before 2060, he stressed.

While reaffirming the nation's commitment to follow a path prioritizing ecological protection and green development, Xi called for steps to build up the green manufacturing sector, develop green services and expand the green energy industry.

It is important to develop green and low-carbon industrial and supply chains, and develop a green and low-carbon circular economy system, Xi added.

He stressed the necessity to further deepen reform to develop new productive forces, saying that reform of the nation's economic system and sci-tech system must be deepened and a high-standard market system must be established.

Xi also set out steps to train talent, which is in short supply for the development of new productive forces, including fine-tuning the disciplines of the nation's higher education institutions and improving the income distribution system by incorporating new elements.

Zhu Keli, founding director of the China Institute of New Economy, said the vision laid out by Xi for developing new productive forces will help navigate the Chinese economy toward a path of high-quality and more sustainable growth.

He noted that China's economy has entered a period in which traditional growth engines are gradually weakening, and emerging sectors and new technologies have taken the lead.

"The development of new productive forces not only improves the overall growth efficiency and competitiveness of the economy but also lays a more solid foundation for future high-quality economic development," he added.


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