The period since 1979 has been a golden period for China’s scientific and technological development. In this period, science and technology have developed rapidly, striving to reach the world’s advanced level, and scoring striking achievements. China has reached or approached the international advanced levels in atomic energy, space, high-energy physics, biology, and computer and information technologies.
China has scored 465,000 major achievements in science and technology since 1981, of which nearly 20 percent have reached the internationally advanced level. The number of scientific and technological theses written by Chinese scientific and technological personnel published in national and foreign technical journals have also increased year by year. According to the statistics published by the China Research Institute of Technology Information at the end of 2001, in 2000 the total number of theses published internationally decreased by nearly one percent, while the number of those published internationally by Chinese scientific and technological personnel was 49,678, increasing again by 7.6 percent over 1999, when the number that year had already increased by nearly 32 percent over the year before. Ranking China eighth in the number of internationally published theses in 2000.
The strategy of “rejuvenating the nation by relying on science and education” put forward by the government in 1995 has greatly boosted scientific and technological development. The main contents of the strategy are: Under the guidance of the idea that science and technology are the No. 1 productive force and sticking to the principle that education is the foundation of the nation, giving priority to science, technology and education in economic and social development; strengthening the national capabilities in science and technology and the ability to transfer scientific and technological findings into actual productivity; improving the quality of the whole nation in the spheres of science, technology and culture; setting economic construction on the road to relying on scientific and technological progress and the improvement of the quality of the workforce; and accelerating the pace toward the realization of national prosperity.
From 1996 to 2000, the state invested a total of 582.83 billion yuan in scientific research, an increase of 88.9 percent over the previous five years. It also concluded 1.289 million technological development, transfer, consultation, and service contracts, whose volume of business reached 224.08 billion yuan-worth. In 2001, 28,376 items won prizes for major achievements in science and technology above the provincial and ministerial levels nationwide, including 24,966 for achievements in applied technology. During the year, the state organized 647 key technological innovation projects and the trial production of 1,329 key new products, and completed the development, appraisal and acceptance of 80 important items of technical equipment.