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China Unveils Plan for Developing Defense Technologies
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The Chinese government plans to enhance its capability to innovate, develop and rapidly supply new-generation weaponry over the next 15 years under a new national development program.

The outline of the development program of science and technology for national defense for 2006 to 2020 was passed by the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense at a meeting on Thursday in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province.

The outline states that national defense industry will focus on development of:

-- new and high-tech weaponry;

-- high-tech industries for both military and civilian purposes;

-- manufacturing technologies for military industries;

-- basic and frontier technologies for national defense;

-- and guaranteeing technological innovation for national defense.

The outline stresses that the country will develop high and new tech weaponry to reinforce a mechanized and information-based army.

The coming 15 years will also see improvements in new technologies and their industrialization for both military and civilian use.

The program will include new and high-technologies for the space industry, aviation, ship and marine engineering, nuclear energy and fuel, and information technology for both military and civilian purposes.

The outline says that China will upgrade its defense industry with digital technology.

The program will include new and high-technologies for the space industry, aviation, ship and marine engineering, nuclear energy and fuel, and information technology for both military and civilian purposes.

Special projects to be carried out include large aircraft, pressurized water reactor and high-temperature gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations, manned space missions and lunar probe programs

According to the outline, the program will form a team of world-class experts in the research of key basic and frontier technologies, and a guaranteeing system will be created to support the work.

The outline says that efforts should be exerted to rev up upgrading and application of industrial technologies, improve the system integration of frontier technologies, and effectively smash bottlenecks in basic technologies, which hinder the development and production of new- and high-tech weaponry.

Between 2006 and 2020, overall planning will be conducted for construction of key scientific and technological laboratories, state laboratories and major-discipline laboratories for national defense. Several centers for research and application of industrial technologies will be set up, together with basic experiment bases and large, comprehensive scientific research facilities and bases.

Meanwhile, international cooperation will be intensified on scientific and technological researches for national defense and related resources will be shared by military and civilian institutions and businesses.

Endeavors will be also centered on protection of intellectual property rights and industrialization and commercialization of research results, the outline says.

Over the past five years, China made impressive achievements in scientific and technological development for national defense, with a modern defense technology regime having taken shape.

The defense industry is a strategic sector of the state and the material and technological base for the development and production of weaponry.

China's defense budget stood at 211.7 billion yuan (US$26.5 billion) in 2004, or 5.77 percent of that of the United States. This year China has set the annual defense budget at 283.8 billion yuan (US$35.1 billion), up 14.5 percent over the 2005 level.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2006)

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