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China Mulling to Build National-level Defense Labs
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China plans to build national-level laboratories for its national defense industry, Sun Laiyan, deputy chief of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, said on Sunday.

"We're kick-starting the appraisal work. The labs will focus on the research of major basic science, strategic high technologies and system integration technologies," Sun said.

He made the remarks in an interview on the, the official Web site of China's central government.

"We'll build them into a world first-class integrated national-level research base. The labs will not be in large number, but we'll pilot new management and operation models to achieve big breakthroughs in major sci-tech fields."

The deputy chief also noted that the defense sector has near 400,000 scientific research staff members, 300 research institutes and a large number of enterprises research centers and advanced research facilities.

He acknowledged that the country needs also to take advantage of all the leading research forces including the civil research institutes, high-tech firms and prestigious universities so as to build an innovative defense industry.

"We welcome the civil sectors, especially those from the materials, information and biology, to participate into the defense research."

China has paid a great deal of attention to intellectual property rights in the defense industry over the past couple of years, according to Sun.

He said the whole industry has received more than 10,000 patents during almost the past three years when the patent number growed at an annual rate of 46 percent.

"Especially we mastered a great number of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the core defence fields and established competitive edge after using the IPRs to develop new weapons."

Sun underscored the importance of self innovation efforts in the nation's defense industry.

"We have to rely on ourselves for the defense development as we're unable to buy back home the most advanced weaponry, the core defense technologies, and the innovation capabilities," he said.

"They have direct bearing to the national securities so they couldn't be (bought) like such articles for daily use as refrigerators and washing machines."

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2007)

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