Chinese spending on scientific research and development posted a year-on-year increase of 14% to hit 1.76 trillion yuan (approx. USD$279 billion) in 2017, according to figures released by the science ministry.
According to Reuters Chinese spending on R&D in 2017 was equal to 2.1% of total GDP, as compared to 2.8% for the US, 2.9% for Germany and 3.3% for Japan.
Beijing is pushing hard for China to become one of the world’s scientific and technological superpowers, providing strong support to fields such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and big data.
“China needs to join the ranks of innovative nations and become a major technological innovation power by 2050,” said minister Wan Gang at a press briefing on Monday.
“Basic research and frontier exploration is the major lesson that must be done now.”
Wan said that China’s annual R&D expenditures had seen a 70.9% increase compared to 2012, while the country hopes to double its output of electric vehicles across the period from 2018 – 2020, bringing it to 2 million units.