China is confident of becoming an innovation-oriented country by 2020 despite many arduous tasks ahead, Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua said Friday in Beijing.
"In 2001, China ranked the 28th in 49 major countries in terms of comprehensive scientific and technological innovation capability," Xu said at a press conference. "We have to move 10 places ahead and enter the ranks of the first 20 before we can say that we have succeeded in achieving our target."
There are many arduous tasks ahead, said Xu, but there are favorable conditions to achieve that goal.
With the efforts of the past generations, China has established a complete scientific and technological system with abundant human resources.
"Statistics show China has 38.5 million scientific and technological personnel, including 1.09 million research and development staff, ranking the first and second in the world respectively," said Xu.
"They're the most precious assets that other countries don't possess," said Xu.
Xu said China has developed strong scientific and technological power. Its research and development capability has reached the world's advanced level in some sectors, such as biology, nanotechnology and space flight
"In addition, China's long historical and cultural tradition, emphasis on education, dialectics, collectivism, and rich knowledge accumulation are all favorable to promoting innovation," said Xu.