China to increase spending on basic research

A researcher of Fudan University shows the illuminating fibers in Shanghai, east China, March 10, 2021. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) – China’s spending on basic research during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period will likely reach a record 8 percent of all research and development (R&D) expenditure, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

China’s spending on basic research reached 133.6 billion yuan (about 20.4 billion US dollars) in 2019, accounting for over 6 percent of the R&D expenditure. Spending in 2020 is estimated to exceed 150 billion yuan.

Ye Yujiang, an official from the ministry, said besides the increase of central government expenditures, enterprises and the private sector are also expected to increase funding for basic research.

China will simultaneously focus on forefront sciences and encourage more scientists to conduct goal-oriented, applied research to help tackle development and security challenges.

The ministry will formulate a 10-year action plan for basic research, optimizing the layout of disciplines and research. The country will promote interdisciplinary research as well, according to the ministry.  ■