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China sets target for defense industry

China sets target for defense industry

China has set research and development targets for its defense industry to meet the country's national defense needs and the development of the national economy for the five years through 2010, officials said Thursday.

The sector will meet the basic needs of the country's armed services for high-tech weaponry and improve its research and development capability for high technology industrial applications, said Jin Zhuanglong, spokesperson for the Commission of Science, Techonology and Industry for National Defense.

China also plans to improve its fundamental capability in basic science and research and in science and development infranstructure in the coming five years, he said.

Jin said China would put in place a new framework that combines its military research and development capability with civilian sectors, including a mechanism allowing the military and civilian sectors to interact with each other to ensure fast progress in the military sector.

On major tasks for the coming five years, Jin listed development of nuclear energy, a manned space program, a lunar probe program, civilian planes, and shipbuilding.

China will work hard to achieve R&D breakthroughs in key technologies for the country's shipbuilding sector while giving priority to the country's three shipbuilding bases along the Pan-Bohai Rim in north China, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, he said.

The country's military sector has reported an average annual increase of 20 percent in production of civilian goods in the past five years. In 2002, the whole sector became profitable after eight years' of losses.