China invested 300.31 billion yuan (US$39.9 billion) in research and development (R&D) last year, boosting science and technology innovations in order to develop a more sustainable economy.
The R&D investment jumped by an annual rate of 22.6 percent, or 55.31 billion yuan, according to a statement jointly released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.
The spending accounted for 1.42 percent of the gross domestic product in the world's fastest-growing major economy in 2006 and is the highest proportion ever, the statement noted.
China has set an investment target of putting two percent of its GDP into R&D by 2010, according to the 11th Five-Year Program for National Economic and Social Development (2006--2010).
R&D spending by companies hit 213.45 billion yuan, accounting for 71.1 percent of the total, according to the statement.
Government research agencies spent 56.7 billion yuan; higher education institutions spent 27.7 billion yuan, accounting for 18.9 and 9.2 percent respectively.
About 234.28 billion yuan, or 78 percent of China's total R&D spending went into development work. Only 16.8 percent went into application research and 5.2 percent went into basic scientific research.
The pharmaceutical, special instruments, electrical machinery, general instruments, transport manufacturing, rubber, and electronics sectors spent more than one percent of their sales revenues on R&D.
The government has earmarked 168.9 billion yuan for the science and technology front. This is a 26.5 percent increase, or 35.36 billion yuan, from 2005.
The sum was 4.2 percent of the government's total expenditure last year, the highest since 1998.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2007)