Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Innovation

R&D growth keeps nation in forefront

By ZHANG ZHIHAO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-02-26 07:55
Share - WeChat
This undated file photo shows an illustration of Tianwen 1 robotic probe entering Martian orbit. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

Innovative capability climbed two spots to reach 12th place in the world last year

China spent around 2.79 trillion yuan ($441 billion) in research and development last year, a year-on-year increase of 14.2 percent and a signal that China has achieved a good start to the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Friday.

R&D spending on basic research had grown to nearly 170 billion yuan last year, a 15.6 percent increase over the prior year.

China's overall national innovation capability reached 12th place in the world last year, climbing two spots, Wang Zhigang, minister of science and technology, said at a news conference by the State Council Information Office.

Beijing, Shanghai and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had also been listed among the world's top 10 innovation hubs last year, he said, adding that China has made major strides in basic research, core technologies, institutional reforms and international cooperation.

Some notable examples in science and engineering include creating new quantum computers named Zuchongzhi-2 and Jiuzhang-2; the Tianwen-1 Mars rover starting the nation's first exploration of the red planet; and China launching its first sun observation satellite Xihe, Wang said.

China has also collaborated with 17 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and South Africa, in creating new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic technologies for COVID-19, he added.

Meanwhile, China is proactively contributing to major global scientific projects such as the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor that seeks to unlock the secret of nuclear fusion and building the world's largest radio telescope dubbed Square Kilometre Array.

"During China's reform and opening-up, science and technology has always been at the forefront of this progress," Wang said. "In the future, the door of China's science and technology will only open wider."

This year, Wang said, China will aim to strengthen its national strategic research capability, enhance basic research and core technologies, encourage the private sector to play a bigger role in making innovations, train quality talent and facilitate international cooperation.

Shao Xinyu, vice-minister of science and technology, said the country's 169 national high-tech zones recorded total annual revenue of over 48 trillion yuan last year, with a net profit of 4.2 trillion yuan.

"These high-tech zones account for 0.1 percent of China's land area, yet they are able to produce 13 percent of the country's gross domestic product," he said. "Suffice to say, these zones are testimony to China's innovation-driven and high quality development."

Zhu Xuehua, director general of the ministry's department of science and technology for social development, said one major focus of the ministry's work is to commercialize scientific findings and use innovation to improve people's lives.

One example is the fight against COVID-19, he said. As of today, there are 25 Chinese vaccines in clinical trials and seven have been granted emergency use or conditional market approval, Zhu said.

China has also approved 68 COVID-19 diagnostic kits for market use, with the fastest being able to produce a result in around half an hour, he said. As for treatments, one neutralizing antibody drug by Chinese scientists has been granted conditional market use and several more drugs are currently in phase three clinical trials.

"In the future, the ministry will enhance its support for science and technology that can benefit society, and facilitate breakthroughs for achieving China's carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, as well as for combating COVID-19, cancers and other major chronic diseases," he said.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349