China's four great modern inventions are hybrid rice, laser photocomposition
system for Chinese character typesetting, total synthesis of bovine insulin and
compound artemether, according to the country's netizens.
More than 100,000 netizens contributed to the debate and 51,442 valid votes
were cast in an election jointly organized by the Guangdong Association of
Invention (GAI), Nangfang Daily, Beijing News and sohu.com, said Zhou Zhaolong,
vice GAI director.
Zhou said originality, global influence and social benefits were the three
key criteria for the inventions chosen.
Hybrid rice developed by famous Chinese agronomist Yuan Longping since the
early 1970s is widely grown in China, with yields up to 12,000 kg per hectare.
It has greatly increased yield on China's limited amount of arable land and been
introduced to some Asian and African countries.
The computerized laser photocomposition system for Chinese character
typesetting has transformed China's printing from letterpress printing to
The new system invented by late Peking University Professor Wang Xuan in the
1980s has been described as the second invention of the printing system for
Chinese characters after Bi Sheng's invention of movable clay type in the
Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Bi Sheng's invention ushered in a revolution
in the history of printing.
The complete synthesis of bovine insulin -- the first time that human beings
have synthesized protein -- is a huge breakthrough in the life sciences. The
procedure was carried out in 1966 by a team headed by late academician Wang
Compound artemether is a medicine invented in China in the late 1970s which
has proven itself to be effective in treating malaria patients worldwide.
The compass, gunpowder, paper-making and printing are regarded as ancient
China's four great inventions. "Electing four great modern inventions will
encourage the new generations to press forward on the road of discovery," said
Wang Yusheng, former director of the China Science and Technology Museum.
Guo Jun, vice-director of the Guangdong Academy of Sciences, the Guangdong
branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the election will focus people's
attention on China's scientific and technological innovations and enhance