BEIJING - China granted its State Scientific and Technological Award for 2007 here on Tuesday to petrochemical scientist Min Enze and botanist Wu Zhengyi for progress in technological innovation.
Chinese president Hu Jintao, with other senior leaders, presented the 5 million yuan (about US$600,000) awards at the annual national science-technology award ceremony at the Great Hall of the People.
Premier Wen Jiabao said in a keynote speech that China had reached a stage in its history where it was more dependent on scientific and technological innovation, and it should strive to enhance its innovative capabilities, which were a national strategic priority.
Government and Party officials should "make friends with scientists" and "extensively take their advice," Wen said, adding the country should create a sound, respectful environment for scientists and scientific progress.
Other Party and government leaders -- Li Changchun, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang -- also attended the event and presented awards to other scientists and enterprises for significant scientific contributions.
The ceremony was jointly held by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council.