Beijing: Two Chinese scientists, both academics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, won the country`s top science award Friday for their outstanding contribution to scientific and technological innovation, a leading Chinese daily reported.
Physical chemist Zhang Cunhao and nuclear weapons expert Cheng Kaijia were presented with certificates by Chinese President Xi Jinping at an annual ceremony held to honour distinguished scientists and research achievements, China Daily reported.
Winners are each entitled to an award of 5 million yuan or $826,276.
Addressing the ceremony, Premier Li Keqiang said, "China has entered a new stage in which the country must rely more on sci-tech innovation to guide and support its economic development and social progress."
The premier said China must rely on scientific and technological innovation to improve the overall quality of its economy, move upward in the industrial value chain, foster a new competitive edge, overcome restraints in resources and the environment, and achieve more sustainable development.
Awards were also given to a number of other scientists as well as for scientific research programmes.