Let Engineering Science &Technology Benefit Mankind and Create the Future
Keynote Speech at the 2014 International Conference on Engineering Science and Technology
Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China
Ladies, gentlemen and friends:
In such a beautiful season, the International Conference on Engineering Science and Technology is grandly held in Beijing; this is a great event in the engineering science and technology circle of both China and the world. I am glad I have the opportunity to meet the engineering experts from all over the world and it's my pleasure to listen to your opinions about the development of engineering science and technology and the future of human society.
First, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people and in my name, I would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to the opening of the conference, to express sincere welcome to all the representatives attending this conference and extend heartfelt congratulations to the opening of CAETS meeting.
Engineering science and technology is closely related with the subsistence of mankind. Consider the past, and we shall know the future. Reviewing the history of human civilization, we’ll see that the subsistence of mankind and the development level of social productive forces are closely related, and one of the important sources for the development of social productive forces is engineering science and technology. Engineering benefits mankind and science and technology create the Future. Engineering science and technology is a significant force to change the world; it originates from the needs in life and contributes to life. History tells us engineering science and technology innovation is driving the wheel of history to roll fast, provides inexhaustible supply of power for the progress of human civilization and push mankind to progress from obscuration to civilization, from nomadism civilization to farming civilization and industrial civilization, to the age of information.
Throughout the ages, mankind has created countless engineering wonders. Many of them are still there, witnessing the chronicle of human civilization. Ancient architectural wonders like pyramid of Egypt, Parthenon of ancient Greece, Colosseum of ancient Rome, Sun Temple of the Indians, Angkor Wat of Cambodia and Taj Mahal of India and important technological creations like China's papermaking, blasting powder, printing technology and compass as well as great projects like the Great Wall, Dujiangyan Dam and Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, all have had great impact on the development of human civilization and are of far-reaching significance for the evolution of world history.
Since the modern era, engineering science and technology has directly connected scientific discoveries and industrial development and it has become a major driving force of economic and social development. Each time of industrial revolution was always inseparable to a technological revolution. In the 18th century, steamer triggered the first industrial revolution and led to a great leap from hand-labor to powered machine production, pushing mankind into the era of mechanization. From the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, electric engine and chemical engineering triggered the second industrial revolution and pushed mankind into the era of electrification, atomic energy and aerospace, in which the level of social productive forces and people's living standard were significantly improved and the space and time distance between nations, regions and peoples was narrowed, making the globe a "village". In the second half of the 20th century, information technology triggered the third industrial revolution, allowing social production and consumption to transform from industrialization to automation and intellectualization so that social productive forces were greatly enhanced again and labor productivity achieved another big leap. Each major breakthrough in engineering would induce profound reform in social productive forces and push human civilization towards a higher new stage.
For over 60 years since the founding of PRC, particularly over the 30 years since China's reform and opening up, the Chinese economy and society witnessed fast development and engineering science and technology as an innovation drive has made undeniable contributions. A series of major engineering achievements such as "two-bombs, one-satellite", manned spaceflight and lunar exploration program have significantly enhanced the overall national strength and international status of China. The successful completion of a large number of major engineering constructions including Three Gorges Project, West-East Gas Pipeline Project, West-East Power Transmission Project, South-North Water Transfer Project, Qinghai-Tibet Railway and High-Speed Railway have significantly strengthened the basic industry of China and the innovation ability and level of manufacturing and emerging industries, quickening the pace of China's modernization. Engineering developments in agricultural science, population and health, resource and environment, public safety and prevention and reduction of natural disasters have greatly improved the standard and quality of life for more than 1.3 billion Chinese people, and the image of both China and the Chinese people underwent historic changes.
Even to this day, the various aspects of people's life all invariably carry the mark of engineering science and technology. From trans-current railway, flying bridge, towering dam, galloping cars, shuttling airplanes, roaming spaceship, wave-breaking dreadnought and unblocked communication to thousands upon thousands of machines, automatic production lines, TVs, telephones and to household appliances like washing machine, refrigerator, microwave oven, air conditioner and vacuum cleaner, engineering science and technology has brought about unprecedented convenience to people's production and life.
Entering this century, the role of engineering science and technology in the development of human society becomes increasingly prominent. I once worked in Zhejiang Province for 5 years and personally experienced the construction of the 36-km long Hangzhou Bay Bridge. The project not only facilitated the city to become transportation junction from transportation ending, but also influenced the various fields of economic and social development through convergence and diffusion of goods flow, funds flow and information flow, and therefore promoted the development of the Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai economic circle. So to speak, the role of science and technology as the first productive force is increasingly outstanding in the world today; the advancement and innovation of engineering science and technology play a more dominant leading role in economic and social development, not only as the deciding factor to push the development of social productive forces and increase of labor productivity, but also as an important force to promote the development of undertakings such as education, culture, sports, health and art.
Ladies, gentlemen and friends,
The pursuit for happy life is the most enduring force to push the progress of human civilization. To enjoy better education, more stable job, more satisfactory income, more reliable social security, higher level of medical and healthcare service, more comfortable living conditions and more beautiful working and living environment is a common dream of all Chinese people and the world.
Today, as multipolarization and economic globalization develop in depth and cultural diversification and social informatization move forward, many global problems are still severe challenges for human subsistence and development, such as food shortage, scarcity of resource, energy constraints, environmental pollution, climatic anomaly, population expansion, poverty, prevalence of disease, and economic crisis.
Where can we find the motive power, to realize our dream, face the challenges and create the future? We can only find it from development, from reform and from innovation. The material resources on the earth are definitely decreasing and the traditional development mode relying on consumption of large quantity of material resource is apparently difficult to continue. Looking forward, the population of modern world will grow fast; if we live on under the existing resource-consumption pattern, the future would be an inconceivable image. China has an engineering team of over 42 million talents; they are the most valuable resource to create the future of China. Advancing science and technology is a strategic choice for mankind to cope with global challenges and realize sustainable development. All these have put forward new mission for the advancement and innovation of engineering science and technology.
A single engineering innovation may lead to a new industry and influence or even change the world. Academician Yuan Longping's team invented hybrid rice and increased China's per mu yield of grain to over 800 kilograms. The invention not only made outstanding contribution in solving food problem for the over 130 million Chinese population, but also was introduced to many countries including India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Madagascar and Liberia and increased the rice production by 15%-20% in those regions; it played an important role in guaranteeing food safety and reducing poverty.
In the world today, as the upgrading cycle of new discovery, new technology, new products and new material becomes shorter and shorter and engineering innovation results emerge one after another, the demand drive for social and economic development has far exceeded forecast and the innovation potential of mankind also goes beyond imagination. The crossing and integration of information technology, biological technology, new energy technology and new material technology is triggering a new round of technological revolution and industrial reform. This will bring new opportunities for the development of human society. The major breakthroughs in any field of engineering science and technology may input new vitality to the process of world development and introduce new industrial and social reform.
For the few decades in the future, a new round of technological revolution and industrial reform and the development of human society will form a historic point of intersection; the advancement and innovation of engineering science and technology will be an important engine to push the development of human society. Information technology first becomes the leading technology that infiltrates into the various aspects of social and economic life and will promote the development pattern dominated by material production and service to transform towards a pattern dominated by information production and service; the world is entering a new economic development period led by information industry. Biology related technologies will create new economic growth point; gene technology, protein engineering, space utilization, ocean development and new energy/ material development will produce a series of key innovation results to expand the space for production and development and to increase the level and quality of human life. Green technology becomes the fundamental direction of technology to serve the society; it is an important means to build a beautiful earth. Development of energy technology will provide main solution for energy problems.
To create a beautiful future together is a powerful drive for the development of engineering science and technology; the talents from the engineering circle shall undertake this historic mission.
Ladies, gentlemen and friends,
"A single flower does not make a spring." Mankind now live in one and the same global village; all nations are interrelated, interdependent, mutually cooperating and mutually promoting in unprecedented intensity; and the international community is increasingly becoming a fate community with a bit of me in you and a bit of you in me. The Chinese people share the joys and sorrows with peoples of all nations and the dream of Chinese people is firmly joined with that of the peoples of all nations.
Today, all countries are thinking deeply about development prospect. China has decided the development blueprint for the next period. Our objective is to double the GDP and per capita income of urban and rural residents by 2020 compared with those of 2010 and build a moderately prosperous society; and to build a prosperous, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern socialist country by the middle of this century. China is deepening the reforms in an all-round way by promoting coordinated reforms in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological civilization fields, solving challenges in development, and clearing the institutional obstacles influencing economic and social development, so as to add new drive to development.
China is the biggest developing country of the world and development is the key to solving all problems of China. Therefore, China must give full play to science and technology as the first productive force. We have adopted innovation-driven development strategy as a major national strategy to promote engineering innovation and realize the transformation from dominant factor-driven and investment scale driven development to dominant innovation-driven development. We will continue implementing sustainable development strategy, optimizing territory development pattern, promoting resource saving, strengthening protection of natural ecosystem and environment, solving issues like haze problem and endeavor to build a beautiful China with blue sky, green land and clear water. We will pay high attention to the people's livelihood and spare no effort to solve the problems related to people's basic necessities of life, education, medical services and old-age care, making people live a better life. We will undertake the mission of a responsible country; by building a peaceful and flourishing developing China, we will bring benefit to the Chinese people, to the world, and to generations upon generations.
Ladies, gentlemen and friends,
The soul of engineering science and technology lies in opening up and in the trend of the times for peace, development, cooperation and mutual win. Increasing internationalization level of engineering science and technology has become a common understanding and important method of all nations to promote engineering innovation; sharing engineering science and technology results is a valuable approach to push mutual development and prosperity. We shall strengthen international cooperation, learn from each other, inspire each other and promote the advancement and innovation of engineering science and technology to cope with common challenges of mankind and realize mutual development of all nations.
Throughout more than 30 years since reform and opening up, China has built cooperative relationships in science and technology with more than 150 countries and regions, carried out extensive engineering talent exchange and taken part in a series of major technological projects that reflect the front of contemporary engineering science and technology, including International Thermonuclear Fusion Experimental Reactor Plan, the Human Genome Project and the Galileo Project, which played important role in facilitating the China's economic and social development and the advancement of engineering science and technology.
I recently visited UNESCO and talked with Ms. Bokova about exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations. UNESCO has made great efforts in this and played an irreplaceable role in promoting inter-national and inter-personal understanding and strengthening cooperation. International cooperation in engineering science and technology is an important drive for the progress of human civilization. CAETS is the most important organization in the international circle of engineering science and technology; it plays vital role in promoting international cooperation in engineering and effectively facilitated the advancement of engineering science and technology in all countries. The Chinese Academy of Engineering has actively conduced exchanges with all countries, which have achieved fine effects.
The representatives of all nations present here today as well as the academicians and experts are all leaders of the international circle of engineering science and technology; you are the messengers for spreading engineering science and technology and tie for talent exchange. You have made painstaking efforts in and great contributions to the undertaking of scientific and technological development and modernization; both the Chinese government and Chinese people shall extend heartfelt gratitude for all these.
Chinese people love peace and desire for development. China will deepen international exchange and cooperation in the field of engineering science and technology in wider scope; we are willing to work with all countries of the world together to jointly solve problems and create the future. We will strengthen governmental strategic cooperation in engineering science and technology and support such international exchange and cooperation with open heart. We will also strengthen semi-governmental and non-governmental cooperation in this regard and promote exchange among scientific institutions, institutes of higher learning, academic organizations, enterprises, cities and scientists. We will strengthen cooperation in major science and technology projects and continue participating in or taking the lead in large international science and technology cooperation more favorable to future development and human health and coping with climate change. We will strengthen engineering science and technology information exchange, establish large database, networks system and virtual research center for engineering science and technology and promote realization of information sharing, technology sharing and resource sharing. We will strengthen training of engineering science and technology talents and make international exchange and cooperation an important platform to gather first-class scholars for joint training of top innovative engineering talents.
Engineering science and technology is the wing of mankind to realize dreams and carries people's aspiration for beautiful life; it can make tomorrow full of hope and the future more brilliant. I hope the engineering experts and scholars of both China and other countries will strengthen cooperation and jointly make greater contributions to the progress of human society.