China plans to diversify basic research fundings

BEIJING: China vows to strengthen basic science research through diverse funding sources in the process of building the country a leading role in science and technology, officials said at a press conference on Friday.
“We have made a 10-year plan in basic research that aims at increasing investment from the government side, but we’ll also diversify funding sources by encouraging other entities in the society to join the move, such as enterprises, local government and donations,” said Minister Wang Zhigang from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The ministry’s affirmation came after a study session of the Political Bureau of the 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee that focused on boosting basic research.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee who chaired the meeting, stressed the country’s efforts towards self-reliance in science and technology.
China has spent 195.1 billion yuan in 2022 alone on basic research, a 15 percent increase on average every year since 2012, according to the MOST.
“That means we are putting a lot more for basic research,” said Wang.
With the investment, China has yielded fruitful result. For example, China has set up the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, the Five-hundred-meters Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), in Guizhou Province. It has detected over 740 pulsars since October 2017.
Chinese scientists were the first in the world to develop an artificial method of synthesizing starch from carbon dioxide (CO2).
As the list goes on, Wang noted that there are many difficulties for basic research, with “proposing the right question” as the hardest one.
He added that those questions should be found from shortcomings, and that scientists should “have a sense of honor for being able to find answers for scientific questions, discover scientific problems, form law of science, and have their own unique opinions.” China’s R&D manpower is projected to exceed 6 million man-years in 2022, staying at the top globally, said MOST.
–The Daily Mail-CGTN news exchange item