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President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visits the site of an imperial fort on Tuesday at Liugong Island in Weihai, Shandong province. Xi called for boosting maritime sectors during his tour in the province. Li Xueren / Xinhua

Independence highlighted in ocean science

President Xi Jinping has called for building up a strong maritime country, urging solid efforts to develop the marine economy.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the call on Tuesday during an inspection tour in Qingdao, where he chaired the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit during the weekend.

"Building up a strong maritime country is a long-cherished belief I hold," Xi said on Tuesday as he visited a pilot national laboratory of marine science and technology in Qingdao, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi said developing the marine economy and conducting research in marine sciences are important parts of the nation"s strategy of rejuvenation, adding that all-out efforts shall be made in this regard.

Calling the marine economy promising, Xi stressed key technologies will be developed through the nation"s independent effort. He encouraged researchers to contribute more to the country.

At the laboratory, he learned more about major cutting-edge science, the independent research and development of high-end marine equipment and promotion of military-civilian integration.

Guan Huashi, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, spoke with Xi about the research and development of medicine using biological resources from the sea.

Xi said the marine economy and marine technology will be a key direction in the future. Many unexplored areas of study remain, leaving great potential for development, he added.

Guan said his dream is to build China"s "blue drugstore". Xi told Guan, "We share the same dream."

China is pursuing coordinated land and marine development, a national strategy adopted by the 19th CPC National Congress.

As a hub of the modern marine economy, Qingdao has 18 research institutes and 34 high-level research and development facilities for marine sciences and technologies. It also is home to nearly 33 percent of China"s top professionals in these fields, said Zhang Jiangting, Party chief of Qingdao.

At a residential community in Qingdao"s Licang district, Xi was greeted by local residents at a community canteen. He talked with them, asked about the quality and price of food and learned about their livelihood.

Xi also traveled to Liugong Island in Weihai, another coastal city in the province, where he visited the site of a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) fort and the Museum of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). Historical lessons should be remembered to encourage all Chinese people to strive for progress with determination, Xi said.