China has granted its State Scientific and Technological Award for 2006 to scientist Li Zhensheng.

Chinese president Hu Jintao presented the award to Li and other prizes to prominent scientists and enterprises that have made remarkable progress in technological innovation at the annual national science-technology prize awarding ceremony this week.

Li won the CNY5 million award for his achievements in wheat breeding, and he is the tenth Chinese scientist to win this top award. His fine wheat strain "Xiaoyan No. 6" was created in 1979 and features drought endurance and disease resistance. The "Xiaoyan" series reportedly greatly boosted the country's crop production in following years.

"Science and technology plays a fundamental role in the country's modernization process," said Premier Wen Jiabao at the ceremony.

Wen highlighted the importance of strengthening science and technology education in primary and middle schools and encouraging the innovative spirit of students.

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