News / China

Scientists Awarded Nat'l Prize, Premier Li Stresses Innovation

  • January 11, 2014
  • By Tang Danlu
  • Editor: Sylvia Liu
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

Scientists Awarded Nat'l Prize, Premier Li Stresses Innovation
Chinese President Xi Jinping presents the certificate to physical chemist Zhang Cunhao, winner of China's top science award this year, in Beijing, capital of China, January 10, 2014.  [Xinhua]
Two Chinese scientists, physical chemist Zhang Cunhao and nuclear weapons expert Cheng Kaijia, won China's top science award on Friday for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.

The pair, both academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, were presented with certificates by Chinese President Xi Jinping at an annual ceremony held to honor distinguished scientists and research achievements.

Winners are each entitled to an award of 5 million yuan (US$ 819,672).

Addressing the ceremony, Premier Li Keqiang said, "China has entered a new stage in which the country must rely more on sci-tech innovation to guide and support its economic development and social progress."

China's traditional growth mode, which was mainly driven by factor input, is difficult to sustain and is gradually losing its competitive edge in medium and low-end products, according to Li.

"Our country's economy is shifting from high-speed growth to a phase of medium- to high-speed growth," he said.

The premier said China must rely on scientific and technological innovation to improve the overall quality of its economy, move upward in the industrial value chain, foster a new competitive edge, overcome restraints in resources and the environment, and achieve more sustainable development.

The country needs breakthroughs in cutting-edge science and technology as well as in strategic sectors vital to the national economy and people's livelihood, he said.

The government should free innovative scientific activities from administrative intervention and "let the market speak" in terms of research orientation, resource allocation and use of funds, he urged.

It should also create an environment that promotes fair play and encourages creativity and initiative among scientists and researchers, Li said, while encouraging the young to follow the example set by outstanding scientists and contribute their wisdom to the country and the people.

Scientists Awarded Nat'l Prize, Premier Li Stresses Innovation
Chinese President Xi Jinping presents the certificate to nuclear weapons expert Cheng Kaijia, winner of China's top science award this year, in Beijing, capital of China, January 10, 2014. [Xinhua]
Several other scientists and scientific research programs were awarded at the ceremony, and Chinese leaders Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli were also present at the event.

Zhang, the chemist, was born in 1928 in north China's Tianjin. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1947 and went to the United States to further his studies. Zhang obtained a master's degree in 1950, when the Korean War broke out.

In 1951, he returned to serve his hometown despite the hard conditions in China, and devoted himself to scientific research at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the northeast port city.

During his 60 years of scientific research, Zhang focused on many pioneering technologies, including water gas technology, rocket propellant and the laser field.

Zhang was in charge of the National Natural Science Foundation for eight years, during which the funds for natural sciences were increased eight-fold, and a fund for outstanding youth was also set up under his request.

Nuclear weapons expert Cheng, 96, has participated in more than 30 of China's nuclear experiments, including the country's first atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb, and the combination of the two bombs.

He has devoted 20 of his prime years to living in the vast Gobi in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region since 1963.

Cheng also participated in writing China's first academic document for atomic bomb research and experiments, designing a plan for setting off an atomic bomb at an iron tower higher than 100 meters, and planning the missions and formation of the institute of nuclear weapons experiments.

His team has established China's nuclear explosion theory, the research field of nuclear explosion effects, different kinds of nuclear experiments, and technical safety standards.

Cheng has greatly promoted the scientific development of nuclear experiments and improved the design of nuclear weapons.

The 2013 science awards were granted to 10 scientists and 313 science and technology research achievements, including 54 natural science prizes, 71 technological invention prizes, and 188 sci-tech progress prizes.

Eight foreign experts won the international sci-tech cooperation awards, including Fabio Rocca, an Italian professor of radar and remote sensing.

Of the sci-tech progress prizes, three won top honors, including hybrid rice techniques and a manned space rendezvous and docking project, the latter being very important to China's strategic objective of manned space projects.

Since 2011, China has successfully conducted four space missions, including the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1, spacecraft Shenzhou-8, Shengzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10, and the rendezvous and docking of the Tiangong-1 with the spacecraft.

The use of domestic high-definition 3D satellite mapping won first place among the sci-tech progress prizes.

In January 2012, China launched the Ziyuan III satellite, China's first high-definition 3D satellite, which sent back a topographic map within a month. Its mapping precision is higher than that achieved by overseas satellites of the same kind.

Following a three-year vacancy, China's top natural science prize in the annual national science awards was given for the discovery and research of iron-based compounds as high-temperature superconductors.

Superconductivity refers to a phenomenon where electrons travel with no resistance when a conducting material, known as a superconductor, is cooled below a certain temperature.

With applications in a range of high-tech inventions, superconductivity has become a part of daily life, from boosting cell phone signals to offering medical imaging.

According to the science awards authorities, this year's awards increased efforts to encourage enterprise innovation, and many outstanding awards were given to fields of public concern, including medicine and health, environmental protection, energy, resources and food safety. 

(Source: Xinhua)

Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: website@womenofchina.cn. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.


13.7K
comment on this story

Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.

    most popular
    • Most Viewed
    • Editor's Pick
    newsletter
       
    • Hello, Can you refer me to a human rights organisation where I can get URGENT support ? I encounter women violence in Macau (psychological abuse). My safety is at risk. I am with a lung cancer patient with multiple medical problems and depends on wa ...LWLUI from Macau
    • 您好。我是香港浸会大学国际新闻专业的学生,也是一名外国自由记者的助手。目前我们在做妇女权益保障的相关议题,我想请问您国内目前有没有专门针对保障妇女劳动就业权益的机构、组织或团体?如果您能为我提供一份名单我将感激不尽。谢谢。 Dear Sir/Madam, I'm a postgraduate from Hong Kong Baptist University majoring in International Journalism as well as an assistant of ...刘韶馨; from 中国(香港)
    • Hello! I am researching NGOs and international organisations working with women in China. I was wondering whether you might be able to suggest individuals or organisations working in this area who may be willing to speak with me? Thanks in advance!Camille from England
    • Dear Sir/ Madam, Greetings from Niskrity Foundation Bangladesh. I feel privileged to your honor for active and sympathetic consideration. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that ours is an organization working at the grassroots f ...AZIZ from Bangladesh
    • Olá! Passando só para dizer, que acho vocês chinesas as mulheres mais bonitas do Planeta.KT from Brasil
    • Greetings. I attended a women's studies conference in Beijing, perhaps 1995. Can you help me with the actual year?Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. from United States
    • I wish to inform women working as social workers, counselors and psychologist in China that the 23rd World Family Therapy Congress will be held 11 - 14 March 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We invite you to join colleagues from over 30 different coun ...William Hiebert from Asia
    • Commission on the Status of Women meeting for 2015-May I please get in touch with your group so that I can follow your organization's fantastic growth and development in this area? I am trying to empower North Asian women to understand gender equalit ...Betsy Kawamura from United States
    • Dear All-China Women's Federation Representative, I am a social worker employed in Melbourne Australia as an advocate in a not for profit organization that works with women and children responding to domestic violence. Their website address is htt ...Maree Bargar from Melbourne Australia
    • Hello, My name is Anna Marie Carter aka The Seed Lady of Watts. I am a graduate of President Obama's Export Program. As a US Certified Organic Supplier, I met with Ms. Yolanda Che, of Welspring, hk. I introduced her to some of my Organic, Non-GM ...Anna Carter from USA
      • 银川妇女
      • Our Chinese Dream
      • Spouses of Ambassadors to China
      • 台港澳婦女頻道
      在线翻译