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Chinese military factories tap civil market
( 2003-12-10 22:13) (Xinhua)

Thanks to China's soaring economy and the nation's decision to convert military industrial technology for civil use, arms makers have rushed to tap the civil market.

In the first 10 months this year, the output of products for non-military purpose made by China's defense industry was 104.32 billion yuan (US$12.6 billion) and the sales volume was 93.08 billion yuan, up 22.8 percent and 35.4 percent year-on-year respectively.

Nuclear power plants, satellites for weather forecasting, communication and natural resource surveys, the Shenzhou V manned spaceship, civil aeroplanes, helicopters, civil boats and vehicles were the competitive products of China's military industrial factories.

The military industrial enterprises turned out 753,000 automobiles in 2002, making up 23 percent of China's total production.

Li Boting, director of the international department of the China Association for Peaceful Use of Military Industrial Technology (CAPUMIT), said that the country's military factories used to make civil-use goods to utilize abundant productivity.

"Now they are paying more attention to the research and development of civil products to acquire market share," he said.

A national non-profit organization, CAPUMIT enrolled about 600 military industrial enterprises, covering most of the nation's converted military producers.

"China encourages former military factories to increase cooperation with foreign counterparts under the World Trade Organization rules, such as to set up joint ventures or to invest abroad," said Zhang Weimin, vice-minister of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

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