Stricter punishments are being introduced for people who defraud State funds intended for scientific research.
A spokesman for the State Council's Legislative Affairs Office admitted money had been defrauded from science funding in recent years, but said the National Natural Science Fund Regulation, unveiled recently, would help tackle the problem.
Under the regulation people found to have defrauded money from the Natural Science Fund will not be allowed to apply for funding for three to seven years, and will have their professional titles rescinded.
People who receive a criminal penalty for violating the regulation will never be allowed to apply for funding again.
The regulation, drawn up with the help of advice from the public, was approved by the State Council last month. It will come into effect on April 1.
The Natural Science Fund was established in November 1981 to finance scientific research. In the past 25 years it has allocated total funding of about 20 billion yuan (US$2.56 billion) for nearly 100,000 research projects.
Under the new regulation money for the fund will continue to mainly come from central government funds, but individuals, companies, and other organizations have been encouraged to donate.
(China Daily March 13, 2007)