Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked senior officials to "make innovation the pivot of development," according to a speech published in the People's Daily on Tuesday.
"China's economy, now the world's second largest, still suffers from low quality of growth. Lack of innovation ability has been the Achilles' heel for economic development," said Xi in the speech, given at a symposium attended by ministerial and provincial officials in January this year.
Though the focus of scientific and technological development in China has been shifting from quantity to quality, the country still lags behind developed ones in terms of cutting-edge and core technologies in fields of military and national security, he said.
The president called for better research of key technology that is crucial to the country's economic and social development.
He called on officials to understand the new stage of development referred to as the "new normal" -- a slowing of growth the economy must go through before it becomes more balanced and sophisticated.
But he added, "The new normal does not mean we can idle around and ignore GDP growth."
Aside from innovation, Xi also highlighted coordination, green development, opening up and sharing, the new development concepts proposed in the country's roadmap for social and economic development covering 2016-2020.
Using playing piano with all 10 fingers as a metaphor, he said China should coordinate development among regions and urban and rural areas, balance economic growth with cultural development, and work toward integrated development of the economy and national defense.
"We should protect the environment like protecting our eyes and treat the environment the way we treat our lives," Xi said on the topic of the environment.
The speech also underscored the challenges that China has faced in opening up to the world against the backdrop of changing international and domestic situations.
"Much is left to be done to forge a more fair and reasonable international political and economic order, and find a new engine for the full recovery of the world economy," according to Xi.
In spite of its growing influence in international politics and the economy, China has a long way to catch up with the developed countries in terms of per capita income and living standards, and the country lacks adequate legal, financial and risk control resources as well as talent, to support its enterprises entering the global stage, he added.