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Call to Boost Basic Research in China

China is encouraging its private sector to increase its investment in basic research, the South China Morning Post reports.

It adds that Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang said during the National People's Congress in Beijing that a lack of investment in basic research is a "weakness of China's science and technology sector." According to the SCMP, China spent 2.1 percent of its GDP — about 1.96 trillion yuan (US $291.6 billion) — in 2018 on research and development, but only a small portion of that funding went toward basic research.

In his speech, Wang said his ministry would encourage local businesses as well as local governments to boost their basic research spending. But Zeng Fang, a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference tells the SCMP that the stumbling block to increased basic research by the private sector may be finding the right people to conduct the work.