With the launch of China’s reform and opening-up program in the late 1970s, CAS assumed a key role in reforming the country’s S&T efforts by encouraging academic openness, scientific collaboration, a multidisciplinary approach and the intensive cultivation of talent. CAS proposals have resulted in the launch of a number of key national scientific programs including the “863 Program” in 1986, which has propelled China’s overall high-tech development, and the “973 Program”, or National Basic Research Program, in 1997, which called for the development of science and technology in various fields. Its goal was to align basic scientific research and innovation with national priorities in economic and social development.
In its early years, CAS contributed to China’s economic construction and recorded several important scientific achievements including the synthesis of bovine insulin. It also conducted a comprehensive study of the rise of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Both key projects proved that the science and technology gap between China and the most advanced countries in the world had already been narrowed. It also made other breakthroughs in basic research at an international, advanced level, such as the development of the function theory of several complex variables in classical domains, the study of the Goldbach conjecture, and engineering control theory.
CAS also took credit for the award of the first PhD in China.
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