News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

China spent $279bn on research in 2017 – Minister

Research: Researchers in China working in a lab

China’s total spending on research and development is estimated to have hit 1.76 trillion yuan (279 billion dollars) in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent, China’s Minister of Science said on Tuesday.

“China needs to enter the ranks of innovative countries and become a big technological innovation power by 2050.

“Basic research and frontier exploration is the big lesson that must be done now,” Minister Wan Gang told a news conference.

China has been trying to ease its dependence on low-end heavy industries and to develop less-polluting ways to promote economic growth and move up the global value chain.

The 2017 spending amounts to around 2.1 per cent of total Gross Domestic Product.

This compares with around 2.8 per cent in the United States, 2.9 per cent in Germany and 3.3 per cent in Japan, World Bank data for 2015 shows.

China’s annual research and spending has risen 70.9 per cent from 2012, Gang noted.

China has established dozens of new high-tech industrial parks and incubators aimed at promoting technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and big data.

The country is also investing heavily to dominate industries such as nuclear and renewable energy, high-speed trains and electric vehicles.

Gang told reporters that China was aiming to bring output of electric vehicles up to 2 million units by 2020, double the estimated volume for 2018.

The Chinese currency exchanges at 1 dollar to 6.3115 Yuan.