Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday sent a congratulatory letter to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) on the 60th anniversary of its founding.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the academy has shouldered the responsibility of solving major scientific and technological problems in China's agricultural development over the past 60 years.
CAAS has made many important original achievements at an internationally advanced level, fostered many leading figures in agricultural sci-tech research, and contributed greatly to the development of the Chinese agricultural sector, the letter said.
"The key to modernizing agriculture lies in sci-tech progress and innovation," Xi said.
The country should step up innovation, race toward the highest level in world agricultural sci-tech competition and take the upper hand in agricultural sci-tech development to lay a solid foundation for building China into a strong agricultural nation, he said.
CAAS should accelerate the process of becoming a world-class research institute and promote overall improvement of China's agricultural science and technology to contribute more to the realization of the nation's two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, Xi said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang issued an instruction to extend his congratulations, urging the academy to focus on weak areas in China's agricultural science and technology and to promote sci-tech innovation.
The academy should strive to make more achievements and nurture more outstanding researchers to improve the country's agricultural science and technology and make it more competitive, Li said.