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Minister: appliance of science to social issues
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-03-05 16:07
Science and technology will continue to serve the needs of society and aid China's economic development, Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, said Tuesday.

Science and technology will continue to serve the needs of society and aid China's economic development, Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, said yesterday.

Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang (left) at a meeting Tuesday. (Photo: China Daily)

"Applying science and technology to social affairs is not just a concept, but a practical issue," Wan said.

"That means we must always consider real needs. For example, in developing the countryside, we have to satisfy the needs of farmers."

The Ministry of Science and Technology will continue to cooperate with other ministries to tackle issues that hinder the development of the nation's economy, he said.

He referred to the ministry's work with the Ministry of Railways in the development of high-speed railways.

"The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will be a world leader in terms of its speed and length, and we will build many more like it in the future," he said.

The ministry will also continue its work on increasing harvests, improving road safety, developing new medicines and responding to climate change, he said.

"Climate change is not just about global warming, but has both advantages and disadvantages," Wan said.

"For example, climate changes have made the Yellow Plateau less dry. We should make use of this to plant more trees there. At the same time, we should also study people's adaptability to the changes."

Wan said a key factor in the development of China's science and technology sector is the creation of an environment that encourages innovation.

"The most important things are to nurture innovators and attract people who have studied overseas to return to China," he said.

"I have a vision in which China has the sort of environment that attracts the best scientists in the world to come and do their research here."

Wan is attending the 11th CPPCC National Committee as a member of the China Zhi Gong Dang political party. In April last year he became the first non-CPC-member for 50 years to be elected to a ministerial post.

"In the Ministry of Science and Technology, the CPC Party committee is responsible for strategic development, while the ministry affairs committee is responsible for administrative work. The cooperation has been very smooth," Wan said.

"The media are often concerned about me as a non-CPC-member minister, but actually in many ministries, Party leaders and administrative leaders are separated. Such a system guarantees our decisions are scientific, democratic and collective."

Wan was elected chairman of the China Zhi Gong Dang in December. Among the party's proposals at the CPPCC, several are concerned with the work of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

"The ministry will treat proposals from China Zhi Gong Dang in exactly the same way as those from any other group," Wan said.

Source:China Daily 
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