China's Military Allocates $870M to Fund 2,000 Research Projects of Private Firms
China's military has offered to finance 2,000 projects to private Chinese firms and institutes for research on equipment and weapons.
Based on the guideline published on the website of the Central Military Commission's equipment development department, China is planning to invest 6 billion yuan ($870 million) to fund 2,000 projects and encourage companies and institutions this year for research in shared technology and research.
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For instance, one of the projects has been granted 1 million yuan ($145,150) to carry out research on the temperature adaptability of solid propellants.
Since 2005, private firms have been permitted to conduct research and manufacture equipment for the military. And over a thousand firms have so far been approved. The participation of private firms in military technology could significantly lessen cost, enhance military-civilian integration, and aid in upgrading military technology, Li Jie, a naval expert, told The Global Times.
Usually, companies owned by the military impose several restrictions in developing new technologies because of the unavailability of manpower and resources. However, Li noted that private firms may also face difficulties as the military follows higher standards.
Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping spearheaded a new commission overseeing joint military and civilian development, as China continues to reach its ambitious military modernization initiative. Xi wants to develop China's military modernization, including creating an ocean-going "blue water" navy, stealth jets, and other cutting-edge technologies to better safeguard the country.
"The commission will be the central agency tasked with decision-making, deliberation, and coordination of major issues regarding integrated military and civilian development," the commission said.