Chinese Communist Party Chairman Hua Kuo-feng has called for all China to become a "great school" to raise its scientific and cultural level.
Chinese Communist Party Chairman Hua Kuo-feng has called for all China to become a "great school" to raise its scientific and cultural level. At China's largest ever national science conference last Friday (24 March) he said there should be three-year, eight-year and 23-year programmes to make the nation a "great, powerful socialist country with modern agriculture, industry, defence, science and technology by the end of the century."
SYNOPSIS: The attendance of Chairman Hua, Vice-Premier Li Hsien-nien, and Vice-Chairman Teng Hsiao-ping showed the importance set on the conference by the Party. Earlier this month, a leading Chinese nuclear physicist told foreign correspondents he considered China to be backward in all fields of science and technology - and up to 20 years behind advanced world levels.
Chairman Hua told the 6,000 delegated it was the first time in the history of the party, and the People's Republic, that a conference of such gigantic scale and broad representation had been held.
Its aim - to mobilise the entire party, army and population to march towards the modernisation of science and technology. It was a gathering of tremendous immediate and historical significance, he said.
The Chinese leader said it was essential to increase the numbers of professional scientists and technicians. He described the professional contingent as the vanguard and backbone force who had been entrusted with the task of "taking strongholds in science and technology and of popularising them among the masses." Chairman Hua said China's principle was to learn the strong points of all the world's nations.
The conference delegates have come from all over China and range in age from 22 to 90. Twenty-four nationalities are represented, including delegates from more than 800 collectives. Those invited to attend include outstanding scientists, technical innovators, peasants involved in scientific farming and technical administrators.
Among them are oil explorers from the East China Sea, experts in sand control from the Cobi Desert region, and seed breeding scientists from South China.