BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has been encouraging women in the country to pursue their dreams in the field of science.
Back in 2010, Xi, then Chinese vice president, hailed women in science worldwide as "an important part of the great force driving the progress of human civilization," speaking at the 4th General Assembly and International Conference of the Third World Organization for Women in Science.
Xi noted that China maintains its basic state policy of promoting gender equality and attaches importance to creating more opportunities for women's career development in science.
Statistics from the China Association for Science and Technology show that around 40 percent of China's scientific and technological personnel are women. Meanwhile, female researchers and engineers account for more than half in the internet and biomedical fields.
Chen Wei, a leading military medical scientist, was awarded the national honorary title -- "The People's Hero" -- for her outstanding contributions to the country's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. Xi presented a national medal to her in September 2020.
Six months later, at the 2021 annual "two sessions," Chen was once again encouraged by Xi's greetings on International Women's Day.
Xi told her that Chinese women should have the courage to pursue their goals and dreams. Chen said she would convey the message to other women around her and that Xi's encouragement will act as the driving force in their career.
Xi's encouragement has likewise inspired Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping.
During his video call with the Shenzhou-10 mission in 2013, Xi said the first space lecture given by Wang would play an important role in fostering young people's interest in sciences and exploring space.
Last October, Wang embarked on her second trip to space. Over the past five months, she has completed multiple tasks, including a 6.5-hour-long spacewalk, live science lecture, a manual rendezvous and docking test, and set a record for the most cumulative days living and working in space as a Chinese astronaut.
Apart from household names like Chen and Wang, many Chinese women scientists are blazing new trails in their respective research fields.
"As the Chinese people pursue a happy life, every Chinese woman has the opportunity to excel in life and make their dream come true," said Xi when addressing a high-level summit at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in 2015. ■