It will take about 20 years for China to become an industrialized country, and after that, the country needs another 30 or 40 more years to develop into a modernized one.
This was predicted by Xu Kuangdi, president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), at a recent local symposium in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.
China is now on the way to industrialization and modernization, Xu said, noting that China has set up a basically independent industrial system, but in the majority of engineering science and technology fields, the country still lags far behind the advanced level in the world.
He said that China should put most of its scientific and technological resources into engineering science and technology fields, in order to realize its industrialization in the coming 20-30 years.
Xu, the former mayor of Shanghai, the largest metropolis in China, called for greater efforts to strengthen studies of basic sciences.
After decades of efforts in industrialization, China has become a leading industrial producer in the world, according to the academician. In as early as 1999, China had ranked among the leaders of the world in the outputs of steel, cement, coal, chemical fertilizer, and television set.
(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2002)