BEIJING, March 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- When meeting the press on Sunday morning, Shan Zenghai, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) and chief engineer of Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, announced that his company, a construction giant of the country, now has lifted cranes to new heights.
Rising above obscurity in the sector of manufacturing, the group now boasts full proprietary intellectual property rights for all key components of its all-terrain cranes, injecting fresh impetus into China's high-quality development, Shan said.
Hours later in the afternoon, the NPC deputy from the delegation of east China's Jiangsu Province welcomed an important fellow deputy – President Xi Jinping – to their deliberations at the first session of the 14th NPC after the nation's top legislature started its annual session in Beijing.
During the group discussion, Xi underscored the importance of pursuing high-quality development, calling it the "first and foremost" task in China's modernization endeavor.
China aims to achieve a faster economic growth of around 5 percent with better quality of development in 2023, as the world's second-largest economy gathers pace to build up a recovery momentum and push ahead with its modernization drive.
As one of the engines driving China's economic growth, Jiangsu has become a front-runner in the country's modernization efforts. In 2022, Jiangsu's GDP reached 12.28 trillion yuan ($1.77 trillion), a 2.8-percent increase over the previous year, and its economic output accounted for 10.2 percent of the country's total.
During Sunday's discussions, Xi affirmed what Jiangsu has achieved over the past five years, and called on it to continue to lead on the path of high-quality development.
His election in Jiangsu as a deputy to the 14th NPC has been widely interpreted as the great importance the top leadership has attached to the Chinese path to modernization, and to the establishment of a new development pattern, a priority he had stressed during a 2020 inspection tour.
Back then, he urged efforts to apply the new development philosophy and foster a new development pattern to advance high-quality and sustainable economic and social development, not only in the province but also in the rest of the country.
Over the past decade, China's economy has grown by leaps and bounds, with a greener and more efficient economy enabled by a shifted focus to high-quality development. For instance, the country's energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of gross domestic product in 2022 decreased by 0.1 percent from 2021, while CO2 emissions per 10,000 yuan of GDP fell 0.8 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Self-reliance in science and technology
In the pursuit of high-quality development, China is also doubling down on technological innovation as a primary driver of growth.
As early as 2014, in another tour of Jiangsu Province, Xi highlighted the role of innovation in economic development, saying that China must rely on innovation to achieve continuous and healthy economic development.
The president called for close coupling between science and technology and the economy, as well as deep integration among industry, university and research so as to achieve seamless connection between industries and science and technology.
In 2022, China spent a record 3.09 trillion yuan on research and development, a 10.4-percent year-on-year increase that could be credited with the nation's accelerated efforts to enhance its innovation capability for more breakthroughs.
The country should continue to make efforts to build industrial science and technology innovation centers with global influence, said Xi during the deliberations.
He also emphasized that the ultimate goal of promoting high-quality development is to deliver happiness and well-being to the people.