China sets national R&D goals for next 15 years

Report says science and technology will contribute 60 percent of China's future growth

China's State Council, the country's top bureaucratic body, has published medium- and long-term research and development (R&D) goals intended to turn the country into a technology powerhouse by 2020, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

By 2020, the State Council hopes to see 2.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) spent on R&D, while science and technology will contribute 60 percent of the country's future growth, the report said. At the same time, China plans to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, it said.

China's State Development Planning Commission has previously stated a goal of raising China's GDP to $35 trillion by 2020. That means Chinese companies and organizations could spend $875 billion on R&D in 2020, if the State Council's plans are realized.

By comparison, total U.S. government R&D spending in 2006 would be $133.8 billion, according to the most recent budget proposal submitted to the U.S. Congress.

The State Council's R&D goals are spread across several sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, information technology, agriculture, energy and defense, Xinhua said. Some of the technologies that have been earmarked for special attention in the coming years include high-end chips, software, and broadband and wireless technologies, it said.