China to Enhance Space Technology Cooperation

China's defence industry plans to invite more international cooperation in the development of civilian products in the new year, said a senior official in charge of the industry.

"The Chinese Government will continuously support international exchanges and cooperation in space technology, space applications and space science," said Liu Jibin, minister of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

Liu said his commission will actively enhance multilateral cooperation in space technology and applications in the Asia-Pacific region, and promote regional economic growth. He said it will also encourage the use of space technology to monitor environmental calamities.

In addition, China's membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will help its enterprises expand co-operation with foreign enterprises, Liu said.

The commission will further unveil preferential measures to attract foreign investment, he said. "In all, we will elevate our opening-up of the strategic industry to a new level."

Liu made the remarks at a news conference during a two-day national work conference of the national defence industry, which began yesterday.

"Opening up to the global market will help our industry break out of its deficit," Liu said.

The minister said that lifting loss-making enterprises out of the red and intensifying the research and development of new weaponry are two key tasks for the industry this year. He did not give more details.

The minister said more than 100 military enterprises that have been in the red for years are expected to go bankrupt this year.

As an integrated part of the national economy, the total output of the military industry in 2001 increased 19 percent compared with the previous year. The commission has set a growth target of about 10 percent for this year.

The commission started a restructuring of the businesses years ago. And 10 giant groups have been established in nuclear energy, satellite and aeroplane and ship manufacturing.

Forty percent of the other enterprises under the commission, which were set up for national defence purposes in the 1980s and have now been in production for civilian use, have been trapped in deficits largely because of the traditional style of management under the planned economy.

(China Daily January 8, 2001)

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