The Chinese government will invest 15 billion yuan (US$1.8 billion) in civil programs of the State High-tech Research and Development Plan in the coming five years, announced Ma Songde, vice-minister of science and technology Wednesday.
The figure is much more than the total investment of 5.7 billion yuan (US$687 million) in this field in the past 15 years.
Ma made the announcement at a press conference to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the implementation of the country's first high-tech research development plan, known as the "863 Program".
In the coming years, China will emphasize on independent innovation of high-tech research rather than merely following the world's advanced high-tech research achievements, said Ma, adding that half of the total investment will go to key programs in the major fields.
The information industry is on the top of the plan, with information security as its key part, and microelectronics development will receive unprecedented support from the government.
The high-tech industry will also be used in modernizing the traditional industries such as agriculture and manufacture of Chinese herbal medicines.
"863 program", which was implemented in March 1986, has eight fields as its core, namely, biotechnology, aeronautics, information, laser, robotization, energy, neo-materials and oceanic technology.
The Ministry of Science and Technology will open most programs through the Website and invite public bid to attract excellent scientists to participate in those programs.
China has announced last year to invite overseas scientists and organizations to take part in some high-tech research programs.
(China Daily 02/14/2001)