China plans to improve financial assistance to private makers of military equipment to ensure they can carry on strategically vital efforts in research and development, said the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. The assistance will be mainly in the form of subsidized loans, with direct funding as an alternative option.
All profits made as a result of government funding will have to be returned to the government, the notice said. No figures were given as to the amount of assistance that could be given.
The initiative could be of significance, as many non-state makers of military equipment are struggling financially, even if they are the source of the bulk of innovations in the field.
China is devoting increasing amounts of money to military purposes, with its defense budget rising by nearly 15% this year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006