China's spending on R&D reaches new high in 2021

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Staff members work on the production line of new energy vehicles at an automobile company in Liuzhou, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Aug. 12, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's spending on research and development (R&D) hit a new high of 2.44 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, up 0.03 percentage points from the previous year, official data showed Wednesday.

The country's total expenditure on R&D amounted to about 2.79 trillion yuan (about 441.13 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 14.2 percent year on year, according to a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

After deducting price factors, China's R&D spending in 2021 rose 9.4 percent year on year, said the NBS.

Investment in basic research stood at 169.6 billion yuan last year, accounting for 6.09 percent of the total R&D spending, up 0.08 percentage points from the previous year, the data showed.

The growth of China's R&D spending is attributable to the steady recovery of the Chinese economy last year, enhanced innovation drivers and improved incentive policies, said NBS statistician Zhang Qilong.

"Global Innovation Index 2021" released by the World Intellectual Property Organization showed that China has made continuous progress rising from 14th rank in 2020 to 12th in 2021 among 132 economies.

China should further accelerate the implementation of science and technology policies and improve the mechanism for diversified investment to provide strong support for achieving high-level self-reliance in science and technology, Zhang said.

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