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Xi Focus-Closeup: Supporting sci-tech innovation from a spark to space

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-25 17:18
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Combo photo shows President Xi Jinping holding a conversation at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (L) with three astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo stationed in the country's space station core module Tianhe (R), on June 23, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- The spark of a good idea can have astronomical implications, as the story of a lighting rig developed in the 1980s shows.

On Jan 20, 1985, in recognition of his innovative lighting rig voice controller, Zhang Xinli was awarded a certificate by Xi Jinping, then Party chief of Zhengding County in Hebei Province, north China.

The lighting rig automatically identifies a change of tone in music and responds by casting various colored lights on the stage. The second-generation voice controller designed from Zhang's invention was included in the provincial scientific research plan in 1985.

When he first heard about Zhang's invention, Xi visited Zhang's factory many times and keenly watched demonstrations of the new equipment. Xi also asked about the sales of their products and suggested Zhang reach out to an art community in Beijing.

Thanks to Xi's introduction, Zhang was later invited to a seminar, where many participants showed great interest in his invention and placed orders.

Zhang later said he never forgets that event, nor the strong support Xi had given to him and his factory.

The certificate that Zhang was awarded witnessed Xi's concern and encouragement for sci-tech innovators. He pays high attention to sci-tech innovation wherever he works.

Xi's encouragement has helped some of the most significant innovative achievements over the past 10 years get off the ground, some of them quite literally.

In December 2020, President Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, congratulated on the complete success of the Chang'e-5 mission that brought back the country's first samples collected from the moon.

It is another major achievement in overcoming difficulties by giving full play to the advantages of the new system of pooling national resources and strength, marking a great step forward in China's space industry, Xi said in a congratulatory message.

In June 2021, he spoke on a video call to three of the nation's astronauts, Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, stationed in the country's space station core module Tianhe. The Tiangong space station is expected to be completed this year.

"The construction of the space station is a milestone in China's space industry, which will make pioneering contributions to the peaceful use of space by humanity," said Xi.

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