China's Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said on Thursday that the medium- and long-term plan for scientific and technological development has been "progressing smoothly" since 2006.
A number of major projects, such as large planes, nuclear power and water pollution treatment and control, major new medicines and next-generation mobile communication, have been launched and the others are expected to start later this year, Wan said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual sessions of the national legislature and the top political advisory body.
He spoke highly of the amendment to the law for promoting scientific and technological advance, which was endorsed at the end of last year, and said it created a better environment for innovation.
The Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Finance jointly issued a circular on the support of key national labs just during the annual sessions of lawmakers and political advisors.
"The circular allows scientists with the key labs to do research according to their own will," the minister said.
So far some regional innovation systems with their own characteristics have been established and have contributed to such major projects as those for renovation of machine building in northeast China, the first phase of the lunar exploration project, the Three Gorges project and the Qinghai-Tibet railway, he disclosed.