Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan on Monday urged defense engineers to strengthen technical innovation and speed up the upgrading of the country's national defense science and technology industry.
"In the past year, you have stuck together fighting a hard war in this special battlefront, achieved excellent performance...made significant contributions to both national defense and economic development," Zeng told a work conference on the development of national defense science and technology industry.
The meeting came only three days after the government announced it had become the fourth country in the world to develop its own advanced fighter aircraft, aero-engines and missiles.
At the annual meeting summarizing the previous year's work and making plans for 2007, Zeng urged participants from military industrial enterprises and research and development institutions to carry forward the hardworking spirits of the old generation who developed the country's first atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb in the 1960s and the first man-made satellite in 1970.
Zhang Yunchuan, Minister of the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, delivered a work report to more than 200 participants.
At the meeting, 779 projects were awarded the 2006 National Defense Science and Technology Prizes.
Major R&D and production projects for 2007 in national defense include manned aerospace flight, lunar probing, large-scale pressurized water reactor and high temperature gas-cooling reactor, large ships and large marine petroleum engineering equipment.
The commission also urged military industrial groups in the nuclear, aviation, aerospace, shipping, vehicle, electronics and new material fields to vigorously develop civilian products and branch out into services by providing after-sales services for civil aircraft, ships and satellites.
The military industry was expected to register an aggregate profit of more than 20 billion yuan in 2006, up at least 50 percent from a year ago, according to Zhang.
(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2007)