Huang Qunhui: Innovation is the Primary Driver to Lead Development in the New Era
Created On : 2017-11-07    Views : 8

Source: Economic Information Daily

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core put forward the new development concepts of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing, which opens a new horizon of state governance and handling of political affairs by the CPC. Innovation is the primary force to drive development. The concept of innovation-driven development is the foremost development concept, which occupies a core position in the overall development concept system. The innovation-driven development concept is put forward based on China's many years' experience of development practice, and it is a result of general assimilation of the good parts of Chinese and foreign theories about national economic theory under guidance of Marxism.China's innovation driven development concept and the innovation driven development strategy and innovation driven development policy developed under guidance of the innovation driven development concept systematically constitute important parts of the political economics of the socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

The theory and practice base for putting forward of the innovation driven development concept

At the 5th Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the CPC, comrade Xi Jinping put forward 5 main development concepts of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing, and made the innovation driven development concept as the foremost development concept. Comrade Xi Jinping points out that innovation is the primary force to drive development. To adhere to innovation-driven development, we must place innovation at a core position in the overall national development system, and continuously push forward innovation in all aspects, including theory innovation, institution innovation, technology innovation, and culture innovation, let innovation permeate through all work of the Party and state, and let innovation become a common practice in the society. To adhere to innovation driven development, we must place the base of development on innovation, so as to establish a system framework that promotes innovation, realize leading-edge development that more relies on driving by innovation and gives a bigger play to the first mover advantage. This means that innovation will become the base and the core and primary driver for China's development in the future. To promote the advance of technology, and then a country's economic growth and social development by technology innovation is not a completely new development concept. It can be considered one of the core subjects of development economics, or even the whole contemporary Western economics. While, for the socialist China that is in the current development stage and domestic and international context, the "innovation driven development" concept is a brand new development concept for developing new realm of development. Viewed from the theoretical perspective, the innovation driven development concept is an important content of the political economics of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and it is a result of comprehensive innovation based on assimilation of the theories of contemporary Western economics about technological advance's promoting of economic growth and the law of technological advance. Therefore, it is an inheritance and development of Marxist political economics. Viewed from the practical perspective, the innovation driven development concept is a summarization and generalization of the CPC's practical experiences on state governance and administrating of political affairs, and it is a scientific development concept that was put forward based on a scientific knowledge about China's development stage, and the current world situation and national situation, an in-depth understanding about the development trend of global economy, society and science and technology, and the new opportunities, new challenges and new problems that China's development faces.

The innovation driven development concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era is a more comprehensive, scientific and people-oriented view about innovation-driven development that the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core, under guidance of the Marxism, proposed based on China's experiences about development, and the change of development stage that China's economic and social development is in, and the new conditions, new problems and new practices that appear in China’s development. This concept conforms to the new requirement of the current global technological and economic development trend, generally assimilates various views about innovation of different schools of western economics, and inherits and enriches the Marxist thoughts about innovation. Specifically, the innovation driven development concept of the socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era is a view about development that is different from past views, as it contains contents in the following three aspects: the view about the core driver, the people oriented view and the comprehensive systematic view. In a word, it marks an important breakthrough in the view about development.

View about the core driver: Innovation is the primary driver to lead development in the new era

The importance of innovation to economic and social development is undisputed, whether at theoretical level or at practical level. Nearly all countries around the world have rolled out policies to actively promote innovation. While, China is the first country to elevate the importance of innovation to such a height as "Innovation is the primary driver to lead development". Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that, the reason for placing innovation at the foremost position is that innovation is the primary driver to lead development. The driver for development will determine the rate, efficiency and sustainability of development. For such a big economy as China, if the issue of driver for development is not well solved, it will be very difficult to achieve sustainable and healthy development of economy and the two "doublings" objective. Certainly, coordinated, green, openness, and sharing oriented development are all beneficial for strengthening the driver for development, but the core lies in innovation. To grasp innovation means grasp the "key" that affects the overall situation of economic and social development.

To lead and drive development by innovation has become a pressing requirement of China's development. Specifically speaking, there are at least two reasons: on one hand, domestically, China needs to tackle the bottleneck of economic development, and to solve the deep rooted contradictions and problems through innovation. China's continued rapid economic development since the reform and opening up mainly attributes to the trend of global shifting of industries, and giving a full play to its comparative advantage in abundant labor resources. However, with decreasing of the manpower bonus and rising wage level over the recent years, China's international competitiveness that is established based on low cost is weakened. The old momentum that is established on primary factors of production is gradually exhausted, and it is difficult for the traditional development mode that relies on labor, resource and land to continue. To tackle the bottleneck and deep rooted contradictions in economic development, achieve transition of economic growth mode and sustainable and healthy economic and social development, the fundamental approach is to continuously promote technology innovation, continuously liberate and develop social productivity, and continuously improve labor productivity. On the other hand, internationally speaking, to seize the overtaking opportunity brought by the new industrial revolution requires innovation. Currently, many new technologies, i.e. big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, robots, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, new materials, and biotechnology, are developed and gaining momentum. Important revolutionary technologies are continuously emerging. They have brought profound impact on the product, business model and business type, and given rise to many new industry fields. The main developed countries in the world are all rolling out new innovation strategies and policies, strengthening their struggling for such strategic resources as talents, patents and standards, and seizing the opportunity to develop and cultivate newly emerging technologies. The new technology revolution and industry change provides those later mover countries with "corner overtaking" opportunities. Now, China's science and technology and economic strength have increased significantly, which provides necessary conditions for China to seize the opportunities brought by the new round of industrial revolution and industrial change. Being faced with the combination of economic development level, technology and industry condition and the opportunity brought by the new industrial revolution, presently, China is closer to achieving the Two Centenary Goals and the objective of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any period in the history. In such a context, China must seize this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity by driving by innovation.

In short, based on an analysis about the trend of science and technology progress and economic development, and the great practice of building of socialism with Chinese characteristics, under guidance of the Marxist theory about production, Comrade Xi Jinping put forward the view about the core driver for development—"Innovation is the primary driving force for development", which represents the CPC's new understanding about the law of development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, is a new fruit of the political economics of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and further enriches and develops the Marxist political economics.

A people oriented view: the innovation driven development must be people oriented.

Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that to adhere to the people oriented development principle is a basic stance of Marxist political economics. This important statement reveals the essence of Marxist political economics, and points out the direction for adhering to and developing the political economics of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. The new development concept put forward by the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core adheres to the fundamental stance of the Marxist political economics, and clearly states that the development should be people oriented, and we should adhere to the principles that development should be for the people, by the people, and the fruits of development should be shared by the people, and have increasing people's warfare, well realizing, maintaining and developing the fundamental benefit of the broad mass of people as the starting point and objective, and have mobilizing people's enthusiasm, initiative and creativity as the fundamental driver for development. The people-oriented development thought that was first put forward at the 5th Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the CPC represents the CPC's fundamental principle of serving the people whole-heartedly, and a materialistic interpretation of history of considering people to be the fundamental force to drive development.

As the foremost concept in the New Development Concept, the innovation driven development concept represents the people-oriented development principle, stresses common people as the subject of innovation driven development, and represents the core principle of people oriented view. On one hand, the subject to implement innovation is people, namely, the innovation relies on people; on the other hand, the concept stresses that the objective of innovation driven development is to increase the welfare of people, namely, the innovation is for the people. This concept constitutes the connotation of the people oriented view of the innovation driven development concept of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. Viewed from the perspective of the subject of innovation driven development, the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core repetitively stresses that China must stimulate the vitality of innovation and entrepreneurship, promote mass entrepreneurship, release new demand, create new supply, promote prosperous development of new technology, new industry and new business types, and accelerate transition of the driver for development. We must fully respect the pioneering spirit of the people, focus on liberating and developing productivity, and support the mass to boldly practice, explore and innovate, timely find, summarize and generalize the successful experience of mass entrepreneurship, well guide and protect the mass's enthusiasm and entrepreneurship, give a full play to the mass's subject role in the reform and opening up and modernization construction, and create a relaxed environment for the reform and development. Viewed from the perspective of the objective of innovation driven development, the objective of innovation driven development is to achieve overall affluence of people, and the fruits of overall affluence should obviously be shared by all people. Innovation driven development is closely related to sharing oriented development, which requires that development should be for the people, and the fruits of development should be shared by all people, that all people shall get a sense of obtainment during the development, and that the fruits of development benefit shall be shared by all people. The ultimate criterion for judging whether the innovation driven development is successful or not, is whether people can be benefited from the achievements of the innovation driven development.

The people oriented view of the innovation driven development concept of the socialism with Chinese characteristics is an important aspect different from the innovation theory of Western economics. Although the views of some schools of Western economics can also derive some thoughts stressing that innovation driven development should rely on the masses, but, the most influential innovation theory of Joseph Schumpeter more stresses entrepreneurs a the subject of innovation, and it even equals entrepreneurship to innovation spirit and venture spirit. While, Marx believes that the subjects of innovation are very wide, including workers, capitalists and professional innovators, etc. The Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core adheres to the view of development that the "base" of innovation driven development is the general public. The view inherits the fundamental principle of the Marxist political economics. Meanwhile, based on the national situation of China, it is fundamentally different from the innovation driven development theory of Western economics and has realized new breakthroughs in the view of development.

A comprehensive systematic view: comprehensive and systematic innovation driven development with science and technology innovation at the core

The innovation driven development concept that was put forward by the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core is a comprehensive and systematic innovation driven development concept. Regarding its comprehensiveness, the concept covers comprehensive development in all areas, including society, economy, culture, ecology, education and politics, with technology innovation at the core, and it also covers innovation of various elements, including theory, technology, institution and management. This means that innovation driven development requires support of the country's overall innovation system, and technology innovation is the core of the comprehensive innovation system of the whole country. The systematic feature of the concept means that, the innovation driven development concept is not an isolated development concept, rather it is the foremost and core development concept in the five-in-one new development concept of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing that was put forward at the 5th Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the CPC. Meanwhile, the innovation driven development concept put forward by the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core is consistent with the thoughts about innovation that were put forward by previous leading groups of the CPC, and it displays a feature of systematic succession. This comprehensive and systematic perspective is another important connotation of the innovation driven development concept of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

The innovation driven development concept is not an isolated concept, but it, together with the concepts of coordinated, green, openness and sharing oriented development, constitutes the five-in-one new development concept, and shows systematic inheritance. Among these concepts, the innovation driven development concept focuses on the driver for development; the coordinated development concept focuses on how to tackle imbalanced development; the green development concept focuses on the harmony between human and nature; the openness development concept focuses on internal-external linkage of development; and the sharing oriented development concept focuses on addressing social equity and justice. The 5 development concepts are inter-connected and reciprocal, with innovation being at the core. The new development concept system with innovation driven development at the core firstly points out that the driver for development comes from innovation, and specifically from continuously promoting innovation in all aspects, including theory, institution, technology and culture;  secondly, this concept system defines the important connotations of development, including coordinated development of urban and rural areas, coordinated development of economy and society, "synchronous development of the ‘four drives’", coordinated development of material civilization and spiritual civilization, converging of economic construction and national defense construction, harmonious development of human and nature, in-depth converging of China and the rest of world; thirdly, it puts forward that the ultimate objective of development is to achieve common affluence of all people, and their joint sharing of the fruits of development. The five-in-one new development concept, on one hand, inherits the thoughts of the Scientific Outlook on Development advocating people-oriented, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development; on the other hand, it places innovation at a core position of national development, and places the base of development on innovation, which represents a new breakthrough of China's view of development on the basis of adhering to the Scientific Outlook on Development.

The innovation driving strategy and policy under the innovation driven development concept

The five-in-one development concept put forward by the Central Committee of the CPC with comrade Xi Jinping at the core provides answers to some important questions about China's development, including the driver, methodology and principles. The 13th Five-year Plan is a development plan for the following 5 years under guidance of the concept, and the implementation of the 13th Five-year Plan requires a series of specific development policies and measures. The innovation driven development concept system, which consists of the innovation driven development concept, innovation driven development strategy and innovation driven development policy, is a governance logic for innovation driven development in China. The innovation driven development concept provides answers to the fundamental questions about innovation, including purpose, significance, subject, guiding thoughts, methodology and principles. The innovation driven development strategy is a future plan for achieving long term and strategic development by promoting innovation under guidance of the innovation driven development concept. The innovation driven development policy covers specific measures of the government to promote innovation and implement the innovation strategy. These three elements comprehensively constitute a systematic theory framework for innovation driven development in the political economics of the socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. 

Presently, the overall strategic plans for implementing the innovation driven development concept of the socialism with Chinese characteristics mainly include The 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of China (2016-2020) and the Outline of the National Strategy of Innovation Driven Development, National Science and Technology Innovation Plan for the 13th Five-year Plan Period, and Made in China 2025, etc. The "13th five-year" plan puts forward the strategic plan of implementing the innovation driven development concept during the 13th Five–year Plan period. According to the plan, China shall place the base of development on innovation. With science and technology innovation at the core and talent development as the support, China shall promote the organic combination of science and technology innovation and mass entrepreneurship and innovation, and achieve more leading-edge development that relies on driving by innovation, and give a bigger play to the first mover advantage. China's innovation-driven development can be divided into "three steps". The first step, China must strive to enter in the rank of innovation-oriented countries, and basically establish a national innovation system with Chinese characteristics by 2020. The second step, China shall strive to enter in the top ranks of innovation-oriented countries, and achieve fundamental transition of the driver of development, and significant improvement of the social development level and international competitiveness by 2030.The third step, China must strive to build it into a great power of science and technology innovation by 2050, and make it a main science and technology center and a high land of innovation in the world. Regarding the specific innovation strategy, in the future, China will lay more stress on independent innovation strategy, original innovation strategy and asymmetrical innovation strategy.

Centering around the innovation driven development strategy, China has established a huge innovation policy system to promote innovation. The current innovation policy system covers various subjects of innovation, including scientific research institutions, higher learning institutions, enterprises and intermediary institutions, and it covers all links of the innovation chain, from fundamental research, to development, transfer and industrialization of technology, and various policy tools, i.e. science and technology policy, fiscal policy, taxation policy, financial policy, intellectual property policy, industrial policy, competition policy, and education policy. These policies have achieved very good effect in implementing the innovation-driven development strategy, eliminating institution and system barrier, innovating talent cultivation and improving the system. In order to better implement the innovation driven development concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and to implement the innovation driven development strategy, in developing policies about innovation driven development in the future, we must well understand and handle the relations between driving by innovation and driving by investment, between breakthroughs in frontier technology and promotion of advanced suitable technology, between the manufacturing industry and the service industry, between forming of technological capability and generation of achievements of technological innovation, between industry policy and competition policy, and between large state-owned enterprises and small and medium sized private enterprises.

 

(The author is Director of the Institute of Industrial Economics of CASS, and a member of the Academic Committee of Shanghai Academy)