China to open sci-tech sector wider to the world

China will open up its science and technology sector wider to the outside world while continuing the pursuit of indigenous innovation, Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said. China's sharing of its sci-tech advances contributes immensely to addressing global issues including energy, the environment and coronavirus containment, experts said, while calling for corresponding opening-up moves by other economies. But experts also stressed that the country's sci-tech industry openness ought to be coordinated with its push for tech security. Minister Wang said that China has implemented an open, inclusive, reciprocal and shared strategy for international science and technology cooperation, continuing sci-tech partnerships with 161 countries and regions. The country is promoting innovation along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Additionally, it has joined a fruitful research push globally to tackle climate change, food security and human health, among other issues, the Minister added.

Wang pledged even larger openness as the country stands ready to communicate and cooperate with its peers and strive to make more contributions to global sci-tech advances and sustainable development. In a sign of the openness, 27 research projects from 14 countries have been allocated scientific observation time on the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), known as China's Tianyan or “Sky Eye,” Hou Jianguo, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said. FAST in Guizhou province is the world's largest single-dish and most sensitive radio observatory.

China's research and development (R&D) spending rose to CNY2.79 trillion in 2021, accounting for 2.44% of the country's GDP, compared to CNY1.03 trillion in 2012, or 1.91% of GDP. China took the 12th spot on the World Intellectual Property Organization's annual global innovation index in 2021, up from 34th in 2012. The number of high-tech firms surged to 330,000 last year from 49,000 a decade ago, the Global Times reports.