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Spending on research and development (R&D) in China increased 18 per cent last year compared to 1999, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

China spent 89.6 billion yuan (US$10.8 billion) on R&D in 2000, accounting for 1 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Expenditure on basic research increased by 35.3 per cent over 1999.

But spending on basic research in China is still much lower than in developed countries, Deng Tan, vice-minister of science and technology said at a press conference. Spending must increase by 18 per cent a year for the next four years, he added, for China to meet its target of boosting R&D spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP.

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