For the first time, China's national defense industry has made 20 billion yuan (US$2.56 billion) in profits last year, a 50 percent gain year-on-year, according to Huang Qiang, a spokesman for the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense today.
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The news was released at the Conference on China's National Defense Industry in 2007. Huang said that China will focus on introducing some advanced new weaponry and technology to the public in the future.
He told the press that China now has the ability to make aircraft carriers, although no specific timetable has been set.
In 2007, China will further investment in civilian areas, focusing on information security, new energy exploration, anti-terrorism equipment research, civilian usage of satellites and so on.
Meanwhile, Huang said that China is considering and discussing its plan to make super planes. "Many international super-plane manufacturers pay great attention to this field. It's not only the hot spot of the world's science and technology, but also a reflection of overall national strength," he added.
The conference came only three days after the government announced the development of its own advanced fighter aircraft -- Jian-10 or Fighter-10.
(Watch the special video of Jian-10)
At the meeting, 779 projects were awarded the 2006 National Defense Science and Technology Prizes.
Major R&D and production projects for 2007 in national defense sector include manned aerospace flights, lunar probing, large-scale pressurized water reactors and high temperature gas-cooling reactors, large ships and major marine petroleum engineering equipment.
The commission also pushed relevant military industrial groups in the nuclear, aviation, aerospace, shipping, vehicle, electronics and new material fields to tackle civilian products and branch out into services by providing after-sale services for civilian aircraft, ships and satellites.
(China.org.cn by Wang Ke, January 9, 2007)
Related reading: China Publishes a White Paper on National Defense