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Leaping ahead with high-tech advances

By Hou Liqiang | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-25 09:34
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An employee works on an assembly line at LCFC (Hefei) Electronics Technology on March 5, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Green growth is also factored into regional planning

Editor's Note: With this year's two sessions underway-the annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference-China Daily toured China to gather a series of stories focusing on the achievements and blueprints in various regions. They show how different regions find their own special strengths to achieve sustained economic development and integrated growth.

When people think of regions in China leading the development of high-end technologies, the country's developed coastal areas such as Guangdong province and Shanghai are usually the first places that will come to mind.

However, if they visit the Anhui Innovation Center in Hefei, they will be surprised to see that Anhui has leaped forward in terms of technological innovation and is even spearheading advancement in some sectors, as the country steps up efforts to promote the rise of the central region.

Scientific projects like the Steady High Magnetic Field Facility and products such as the nuclear fusion device "artificial minisun", quantum chips and unmanned early warning aircraft are among more than 1,100 cutting-edge technology exhibits at the center.

Rather than being brought in from other parts of the country, all of them were developed in the inland province. Late last month, Anhui managed to have all of its 31 less developed county-level areas-almost one-third of its total county count-taken off the national poverty list.

"As Anhui made an all-out effort to make breakthroughs in key technologies in recent years, the province has made a large number of original technical innovations and is a pioneer in research on quantum science, artificial intelligence and hypersonic technology in the country," said Li Jinbin, Party chief of Anhui.

Last year, the number of high-tech enterprises in the province increased by 1,200 and value added in high-tech industry increased by 18.8 percent. The average ownership of invention patents in the province has also reached 11.7 patents per 10,000 people, according to the Anhui provincial government.

The province has especially stood out for its efforts in developing the chip industry as the country endeavors to be self-reliant on key technologies and lessen its dependence on microprocessors from overseas.

On May 8, ChangXin Memory Technologies entered a new phase with an investment of 33.3 billion yuan ($4.69 billion) and broke ground for construction in Hefei, Anhui's provincial capital. Founded in the city in 2016, the company specializes in dynamic random access memory chips and will amass a total investment of 220 billion yuan.

"The chip industry is a high-tech industry. It's also an industry with high barriers to entry," said Zhu Yiming, the company's chairman. "Only when we have the core technologies can we reduce reliance on foreign products."

ChangXin was one of the earliest integrated circuit companies to invest in Hefei. "The city has now formed an integrated circuit industry cluster, which includes 253 companies," said Zhu Shengli, director of the Hefei development and reform commission.

The province is just a microcosm of efforts from local governments in the central region. Along with five other provinces including Hubei and Jiangxi, Anhui is focused on promoting high-quality green development as the country rolls out an ambitious plan on the rise of the central region.

Unveiled in 2016 by the State Council, the plan outlined building the region as an important and advanced national manufacturing center, and also a model region in ecological conservation from 2016 to 2025.

Jiangxi has also made great achievements in transforming its industrial sector and promoting high-tech development.

Investment in the technical transformation of the province's industrial sector increased by 45.6 percent last year.

Meanwhile, value added in high-tech industries covered 36.1 percent of the total generated by large industrial enterprises, up by 2.3 percentage points year-on-year.

When Jiangxi's governor Yi Lianhong delivered the work report of the provincial government in January, he said the province also saw value added in emerging sectors of strategic importance increase by 4.1 percentage points to 21.2 percent of the total for large industrial enterprises.

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