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China Issues Major Program for Innovation and Scientific Discovery

Aug. 11, 2016 (EIRNS)—The State Council of China issued on Aug. 9 a new five-year plan for the development of the country’s science and technology, with the aim of becoming one of the top 15 science nations by 2020. It is presently ranked 18th in a global innovation ranking developed by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.

In line with its policy of using innovation as the main driver of economic growth, China will spend 2.5% of its GDP to fund innovation. In 2015 it spent 2.1% on innovation. The government also intends to tap into the equity market as an additional source for funding innovation. High-tech services contributed 15% of the country’s GDP in 2015, and the government expects this to rise to 20% by 2020. China has made great headway in fields such as high-speed rail, global positioning technology, hybrid rice development, and fourth-generation telecommunication technology.

The plan also calls for 15 major projects in the fields of quantum telecommunications, advanced manufacturing, cyberspace, and deep space. Xu Jing, director-general of the Department of Innovation and Technology at the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the manned space program and deep-sea exploration are also priorities.

"During the 13th five-year plan, we are also considering the start of Mars exploration, as well as a study on the overall development and utilization of aerospace, including the on-orbit and the Space-Air-Ground network,"

Xu said.

"As for deep-sea resources exploration, there are still lots of key technology challenges waiting to be solved. Establishing a deep-water station is also on the agenda."

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