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China to Support Research into 12 Key Technologies

Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua said here Wednesday that China plans to launch research into 12 key technologies this year, in a fight against foreign competitors’ monopoly in strategic advanced technologies.

At the annual National Conference on Science and Technology, which started Wednesday in Beijing, Xu said that because of its entry into the World Trade Organization, China should prepare itself well in science and technology, especially by pioneering frontiers of advanced and emerging technology.

The ministry will concentrate on super scale integrated circuits and computer software, information security systems, e-administration and e-finance, functional gene-chips and bio-chips,electric automobiles, magnetic levitation trains, new medicines and modernization of production of traditional Chinese medicines, intensive processing of farm produce, dairy product manufacturing,food security, water-conservation farming, water pollution controland 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 (CPU), 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 ten years in the design and manufacture of super scale integrated circuit.

While constructing electronic platforms in the administration of public affairs and financial business, the country wants to stimulate related industries in the coming years, Xu said.

Faced with patent encroachment in bio-engineering from foreign companies, Chinese researchers are urged to invent more in the bio-chip area and to apply for more patents in that field, he said.

By the end of 2005, the ministry plans to spent five billion yuan (600 million U.S. dollars) on research into the 12 key technologies.

Xu also urged businesses nationwide, whether state or privatelyowned, to join the government plan for boosting the strategic technologies.