China has budgeted over 13 billion yuan (2 billion U.S. dollars) for major research and development programs this year, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has revealed.
The programs consist of 40 special projects and more than 600 minor projects, covering four major fields including social development, high-tech research, agricultural science and technology, and fundamental research.
According to a guideline on budgets soon to be released by MOST, social development will receive the most funds, with 41.7 percent of the total projects and 34.8 percent of the budget.
Risk control in public security and technical equipment for emergencies were the two areas with the most funds under social development, according to the guideline.
Medical research is also set to get a big chunk of the budget, with five special projects receiving 1.2 billion yuan in total. From 2016 to 2018, medical research received 30 percent of the budget for social development.
Another 25.2 percent of the overall projects are in high-tech, a much lower percentage than for social development projects, yet they will receive 4.4 billion yuan -- close to the amount for social development.
New energy automobiles and additive and laser manufacturing are the top two high-tech subjects in terms of budget.
Li Hongjun, researcher at the China Agricultural University, said the budget allocation for research programs reflects the country's emphasis on certain industries.
For instance, from 2016 to 2018, the budgets for research on air pollution control and causes, as well as for deep-sea technology and equipment, reached 2.2 billion yuan, showing that the country has paid more attention to people's health and becoming a strong sea power, Li said.