President stresses self-reliance in science, technology
President Xi Jinping talks on Tuesday with community workers, Party members and volunteers during an inspection tour of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, and hears about local efforts in the prevention and control of COVID-19 outbreaks. (XIE HUANCHI / XINHUA)
President Xi Jinping has reiterated that the dynamic zero-COVID policy has proved to be "correct "and "effective" in the nation's response to COVID-19 outbreaks, saying that the "herd immunity "approach would cause unimaginable consequences in such a populous country as China.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks on Tuesday during an inspection tour of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The city reported the first case of COVID-19 in China.
He visited a residential community and a high-tech enterprise in Wuhan, and highlighted the importance of coordinating the COVID response and socioeconomic development, as well as improving the nation's independence and self-reliance in science and technology.
While visiting the Zhiyuan Community, Xi commended the city's regular epidemic prevention and control efforts, saying that since Wuhan won the battle against the virus in 2020, it has encountered several outbreaks again, but it got them under control in a short time, thereby preventing massive resurgences of the virus.
Practice has proved that the principle and policy adopted by the CPC Central Committee are correct and effective and must be unswervingly upheld, Xi said.
Over the past more than two years, China has adhered to the overarching principle of "guarding against imported cases and preventing a resurgence of the outbreak at home" and the dynamic zero-COVID policy to combat the pandemic.
Noting that the pandemic is a big test, Xi said that the nation's dynamic adjustment of epidemic control measures has protected people's lives, safety and health to the maximum extent.
Implementing the dynamic zero-COVID policy is determined by the CPC Central Committee in line with the Party's nature and its founding purpose as well as national conditions, he said.
It is better to temporarily affect economic development than to harm people's lives and health, particularly among the elderly and children, Xi said. Judging from the effects in all aspects, the nation's epidemic prevention and control measures are the most economical and effective, he added.
Saying that the pandemic is not yet over and the nation still feels the heavy pressure of the pandemic response, Xi urged perseverance in seeking victory over the virus. He warned against any tendency to grow weary of the fight or slacken prevention and control efforts.
Xi called for improving community-based regular COVID response measures, saying that science-based and targeted steps must be taken to firmly prevent the spread of the virus in communities.
Party committees and governments at various levels should work to help address people's difficulties and ensure that economic activities and people's work and lives are less affected by COVID control measures, Xi said.
"We are confident of striking a balance between epidemic prevention and control and socioeconomic development, and striving for relatively good performance in this year's economic development."
While visiting Wuhan HGLaser Engineering Co Ltd, one of the largest laser equipment suppliers in China, Xi stressed the importance of implementing the innovation-driven development strategy to "keep the lifeline of science and technology firmly in our own hands".
He urged greater progress in independence and self-reliance in the sector of science and technology to make the country's development more secure.
He also stressed fostering more advanced technologies and sectors and creating new advantages in international competition.
Xi said that with the country's development, it becomes urgent to make breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields.
Saying that high-end manufacturing is an important pillar of high-quality economic development, Xi urged the strengthening of technological research and development to push for the upgrading of the nation's manufacturing industry and build China into a manufacturing power.