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China's premier cheers makers on

Updated: 2015-05-05 17:37

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has lauded the younger generation's spirit of entrepreneurialism and self-motivation, according to a post on the central government's website.

The premier made his remarks in a written reply to students at Tsinghua University, the prestigious science and engineering academy, for Youth Day on May 4.

Li called on the students to nurture their pioneering spirit and to dare to break down routine to facilitate innovative and entrepreneurial progress.

"Chuangke" ("makers" in Chinese) are hands-on technology enthusiasts who use 3D printers, robotics, and other advanced tools to create products. The word differs from the term "inventor" as it carries more of an entrepreneurial spirit; these makers are monetizing their products.

In a letter to the premier a few days ago, the students from Tsinghua's makerspace association, the i.Center, briefed the premier about the latest developments at their center and expressed determination to ride the tide of "mass entrepreneurship and innovation."

The university's i.Center was established in 2013 to give makers access to resources from around the world, including design models and opensource software.

Chuangke, and their role in driving growth, were included in the government's work report delivered in March by Li, who described the group's emergence as "coming thick and fast."

In response, the government will issue more policies that break down barriers and create a fertile environment for makers to flourish, Li said in the letter.

When delivering the government work report, Li said the government will continue to encourage mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

Growth of the world's second largest economy declined to 7 percent in the first quarter, the weakest performance since the global financial crisis, when growth fell to 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

The government is grasping for new growth potential in emerging sectors such as the Internet and smart manufacturing, fields where makers are most active.

In the first three months of this year, the number of newly founded firms in China surged by nearly 40 percent from a year ago to 844,000, most of which are in emerging sectors, thanks to easy market access for start-ups encouraged by the government.

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