CHONGQING, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Thursday called for the advancement of research and application of smart technology to support economic development.
Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, attended the opening ceremony of the first Smart China Expo in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and read a congratulatory letter sent by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In the letter, Xi said China attaches importance to innovation and is firmly committed to high-quality development by accelerating the digital economy and digitization of industries.
The congratulatory letter "fully demonstrated that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council highly value the development of smart technology," Han said when addressing the ceremony.
"Information technology and smart technology have seen remarkable development in China," Han noted. With nearly 800 million Internet users, China is the world's largest market for smart phones, mobile payment and online retail sales.
The country has been the top consumer of industrial robots for six consecutive years, with the size of its artificial intelligence market growing over 40 percent annually on average, according to the vice premier.
"Faster progress should be made in building a smart economy and an intelligent society, and new momentum should be fostered while traditional drivers should be upgraded, to support a modernized economy and high-quality development," he said.
Han called for using smart technology to innovate core technology, modernize manufacturing, improve social governance and create high-quality life for the people.
"We are willing to actively participate in international cooperation on the digital economy, share the opportunities brought by smart technology with other countries, and jointly create a bright future of the digital economy," he said.
Han proposed strengthening cooperation on smart technology in research and development, industry and security.
Themed "Smart Technology: Empowering Economy, Enriching Life," the expo attracted more than 500 enterprises from 28 countries and regions.