Sci-Tech Drives China's Economic Growth

Science and technology are playing an important role in boosting China's economic growth.

Authoritative figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that during the Ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000), the application of some 30,000 sci-tech achievements a year largely contributed to the country's economic growth.

Thanks to the wide use of new technology, China has retained the sustainable development of agriculture and successfully fed its large population. The selection and cultivation of quality grain, other crops and a variety of vegetables has helped the production growth rate increase to over 10 percent.

Scientific breakthroughs have resulted in technological progress in China's industry. Popularization of advanced technology, particularly computer aided design (CAD) and computer integrate manufacture system (CIMS), have provided a sound foundation for technological innovation in most enterprises.

Statistics show that the output value of electronics and communications equipment manufacturing rose by 160 percent, and the output of pharmaceuticals increased by 71.3 percent in the five-year period; both higher than the 41 percent of the total industry growth of the same period.?) The foreign trade of high-tech goods nearly quintupled that of the Eighth Five-Year Plan.

Meanwhile, China also made amazing progress in bioengineering, aerospace and nanotechnology, the frontier of science and technology in the world. China has become one of the leading bio-tech countries after the successful cultivation of an improved variety of hybrid rice, working map of the rice gene, cloned and transgenetic goats, cultivation of transgenetic cattle with human albumen gene and the sequencing of human genome. The Long March rockets have succeeded in sending 31 satellites including 19 for other countries to their destined orbits. The successful launch and landing of China's first unmanned spacecraft "Shenzhou" was a milestone in its aerospace technology.

Observers here attributed the outstanding sci-tech performance to the encouragement received from the central government. In the past five years, 582.83 billion yuan (70.22 billion U.S. dollars) was put into the development of science and technology, almost double that of the Eighth Five-Year Plan period. The government support of technological innovation has promoted research institutions to operate like enterprises.

Industrial parks for software, new materials, bio-chemistry and those for universities and overseas Chinese mushroomed and served as the base for the industrialization of high technology, according to an official report.

People's Daily Online ---