Reshuffle puts greater focus on competitiveness, troubleshooting
The State Council, China's Cabinet, has decided to revamp the leading group for science, technology and education into a new body that specifically oversees the country's science and technology sector.
The central government's decision was followed by a stock price surge for some leading technology companies on Thursday.
The National Science and Technology Leading Group will be headed by Premier Li Keqiang, who has been chairing the previous National Science, Technology and Education Leading Group since 2013. Vice-Premier Liu He will be the organ's deputy head.
The new leading group will study and review national strategies, plans and major policies in science and technology, deliberate on and approve the country's significant sci-tech missions and programs, and coordinate major sci-tech affairs among State Council departments and between them and local governments.
The leading group also has another 14 members from different State Council departments and the Central Military Commission, including He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Wang Zhigang, minister of science and technology.
Wang will be director of the office of the leading group, which will be set up in the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Before the reshuffle, it was decided to establish a central leading group for education in March, according to a plan on deepening reform of Party and State institutions released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
On Thursday, the bench mark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.83 percent. Stock prices of a number of listed tech companies surged by their daily limits including chipmakers and the fifth-generation mobile network. Listed enterprises involved in computer applications, semiconductors and components as well as computer equipment rose by more than 4 percent. Telecommunication equipment and electronics manufacturing firms saw share prices rise more than 3 percent.
China's sci-tech sector still has some weaknesses, and the core competitiveness of some industries should be improved, said Chen Yongjun, deputy head of the Institute of China's Economic Reform and Development at Renmin University of China.
Education, science and technology used to be overseen by one vice-premier.
Now, Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan supervises education, culture, healthcare and sports while Liu, who also heads the State Council Financial Stability and Development Committee, is in charge of sci-tech and commerce, Chen said.
The establishment of the new leading group means more attention will be paid to the sci-tech sector and core technologies with its more targeted and clearly defined functions, Chen said. The new body will boost the development of this field with new policies to be put in place, he added.