China to spend billions on biotech development
China will spend $308.5 billion on science and technology, making biotechnology a major priority in the next five years, said Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, according to China Daily.
The Chinese government will work to further combine biotechnology with economic development and with improving ordinary people's livelihoods, Liu said.
In the next five years, China will use biotechnology to prevent disasters or alleviate the harm caused by them, protect the environment, employ "green" construction methods and control climate change. Meanwhile, the latest innovations in biotechnology should be relied on to guarantee domestic standards are met for nutrition, hygiene, healthcare, food and drug safety and disease diagnosis and prevention, Liu stressed.
During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the Chinese government will spend money on innovative medicine, the cultivation of new varieties of genetically modified organisms and the prevention and control of viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases, according to Ma Hongjian, deputy director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development.
Biotechnology has become a strategic pillar industry for China. From 2011 to 2015, it is expected to generate one million jobs, extend people's life expectancies by one year and reduce the infant mortality rate to 12%, as well as reduce emissions of the most common pollutants by 10%, Ma said.