China / Society

Beijing wants private financing for weapons and military equipment

By Zhao Lei ( Updated: 2015-12-27 11:18

A number of advanced weapons and military equipment developed by private companies were displayed at a civil-military sectors integration conference in Beijing on Saturday.

The 8th China Civil-Military Integration Conference is hosted by the Civil-Military Integration Equipment Research Institute in Beijing. It attracted more than 200 government officials and officers from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to discuss policies, business opportunities, and new defense technologies. Executives from nearly 200 private also took part in the event.

Several private companies involved in the development of weapons and military equipment showed their products including unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, military robots, and cutting-edge materials.

The Chinese government and the PLA have meted out a succession of measures to boost the private sector's participation in the arms and equipment industry over the past two years.

In Nov 2014, PLA General Staff Headquarters published a total of 108 procurement items titled "advanced training technologies and equipment". Those items were published to encourage private companies to take part in training apparatus' research, development and manufacturing process.

Xu Dazhe, director of the State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for the National Defense, said in July that the government would open more fields in the defense sector to private enterprises and lower the entry threshold for them.

According to Xu's administration, nearly 1,000 private companies have received permission to develop and produce weapons or other military equipment, accounting for about 40 percent of defense equipment contractors in China.

China has been gradually opening the defense market to private enterprises since 2005, when the central government issued a series of instructions encouraging private sectors to plunge into the market.

Currently, any business entity can bid for PLA contracts after gaining four government-issued licenses on confidentiality and technological capability.

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