BEIJING- China's scientific research and development (R&D) spending was 580.21 billion yuan (87.25 billion US dollars) in 2009, fourth in the world after the United States, Japan and Germany, officials at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China told Xinhua.
The statistics came from the latest national R&D resources survey, the second ever conducted in the country.
About 3.18 million people were involved in China's R&D activities in 2009, the largest number in the world, said Cha Zhimin, deputy-director of the society and science department under the NBS.
Of the total spending, the government invested 135.83 billion yuan on R&D in 2009, about 4.5 times that in 2000 or an annual increase of 18.3 percent, indicating the government was more willing to boost innovation, Cha said.
However, the ratio of R&D investment against GDP stood at 1.7 percent in China, far behind 3 percent in leading countries across the world, Cha said, adding that China still remained far below many developed countries in original innovations.