Future prospects of scientific and technological innovation in Yangtze River Delta

Editor’s note: Liu Chunsheng, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is an associate professor at the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics. The article reflects the author’s opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The Yangtze River Delta region, one of the most economically developed and innovative regions in China, has always been the center of attention in the construction of a scientific and technological innovation community. In recent years, with the country’s strong emphasis on and significant investment in such innovation, the development of this community in the region has achieved remarkable results, promoting economic development locally, nationally and globally.

The region has made significant progress in infrastructure construction and development. To aid connectivity, over 660,000 5G base stations have been built, providing a solid network foundation. Meanwhile, the accelerated construction of the national computing power hub node in the delta will further enhance the computing power of the region and provide stronger computational support for related activities.

Technical staff upgrading equipment at a 5G base station in Tongling City, Anhui Province, China, December 1, 2023. /CFP

Technical staff upgrading equipment at a 5G base station in Tongling City, Anhui Province, China, December 1, 2023. /CFP

In terms of transportation networks, the integrated transportation network in the delta region continue to take shape. The opening and operation of the Shanghai-Nanjing Riverside High-speed Railway and the Nanchang-Jingdezhen-Huangshan High-speed Railway have greatly shortened the distance between cities and strengthened the internal connections within the region. In addition, the implementation of projects such as the water diversion project from the Yangtze River to the Huai River and the trial navigation of the entire section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal in Zhejiang Province has also provided more convenient logistics and transportation methods for the region as a whole.

The Shanghai-Nanjing Riverside High-speed Railway, September 28, 2023. /CFP

The Shanghai-Nanjing Riverside High-speed Railway, September 28, 2023. /CFP

Enterprises in the region have achieved fruitful results across the board, ranging from e-commerce and solar to biopharmaceuticals and high-end manufacturing. 

Take Alibaba (China) Co., Ltd. as an example. As a leading enterprise in the region, it has strong technological capabilities in areas such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence. Alibaba Cloud, as one of the largest cloud computing service providers in China, provides cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and other technical services to millions of enterprises worldwide. At the same time, Alibaba has also actively explored and innovated in areas such as new retail and cross-border e-commerce, promoting the development of related industries.

Likewise, in the photovoltaic industry, a number of excellent enterprises have emerged. 

As one of the industry leaders, Fulaite Plastic Development Co.,Ltd. has become a leading global producer of photovoltaic glass by leveraging advanced technologies and human resources, as well as local industrial supporting facilities. The company has continuously improved product quality and competitiveness, making significant contributions to the global photovoltaic industry.

Smart production line of photovoltaic modules in Jinhua city, Zhejiang Province, January 18, 2024. /CFP

Smart production line of photovoltaic modules in Jinhua city, Zhejiang Province, January 18, 2024. /CFP

The region has also strengthened cooperation and exchanges, through joint implementation of research projects and the co-construction of innovation platforms among region cities. At the same time, the delta region has also actively carried out cooperation and exchanges with other regions domestically. 

In the future, the Yangtze River Delta region will continue to strengthen infrastructure construction, especially in key areas such as communications and transportation. It will also actively introduce resources from home and abroad to promote the improvement of scientific and technological innovation capabilities and the optimization and upgrading of industries in the region. Additionally, the delta region will also strengthen talent cultivation, engaging with intellectuals on a regional level, meanwhile aiming to attract others from further afield.