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China Sets Science Goals (10/01/2002)
2004/03/09
China is to launch research into 12 key technologies this year in an effort to prevent foreign companies from having a monopoly over strategic advanced technologies.
At the annual National Conference on Science and Technology, which started yesterday in Beijing, Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua said that because of its entry into the World Trade Organization, China should prepare itself well in science and technology.

According to Xinhua news agency, the ministry will concentrate on super-scale integrated circuits and computer soft-ware, information security systems, e-administration and e-finance, functional gene chips and biochips, electric automobiles, magnetic levitation trains, new medicines and modernizing production of traditional Chinese medicines, intensive processing of farm produce, dairy product manufacturing, food security, water-conservation farming, water pollution control and the establishment of key technical standards.

The top priority will be information technology, which is now very competitive internationally, said Xu, encouraging Chinese scientists to invent new central processing units, network computers and network software.

According to a timetable released by the ministry, China plans to push its way into the world's top ranks over the next five to 10 years in the design and manufacture of super scale integrated circuits.

While constructing electronic plat-forms in the administration of public affairs and finance, the country wants to stimulate related industries in the coming years, Xu said.

Facing patent encroachment in bio-engineering from foreign companies, Chinese researchers are urged to focus more on the biochip area and to apply for more patents in that field, he said.

By the end of 2005, the ministry plans to spend 5 billion yuan (US$600 million) on research into the 12 key technologies.

Xu also urged businesses nationwide, whether state or privately owned, to help the government boost these strategic technologies.

China is drawing up new strategies to be used in human resource and patent management and for the establishment of technical standards to cope with increasing global competition in science and technology, the minister said.

While warning that more top-notch Chinese scientists could possibly work for foreign countries in the future, Xu urged local science and technology administrators to attract domestic and overseas scientists.

In order to achieve that goal, the ministry plans to provide promising young scientists with more key national programs. Researchers will also be paid more when appointed to these posts.

In new high-technology ventures, he said, scientists and researchers could be offered optional shares.

For more effective protection of intellectual property, the ministry, together with the State Intellectual Property Office, plans to study the latest global patent trends and take appropriate measures, according to the minister.

(eastday.com January 10, 2002)



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