Chinese Technology Development Plans


The major gaps in scientific fields in China were identified as an environment for innovation and capacity. This was particularly so in the fields of geology involving interdisciplinary work in breakthrough technologies. A second area was mechanical engineering wherein capability to manufacture, “high-end digitally-controlled equipment and large heavy-load equipment” was lacking. So was the capability for precision, manufacturing in all its dimensions. Metallurgical engineering and aeronautical engineering were other spheres where more inputs were envisaged.

China has prioritized three areas in space technology for development to include, satellite navigation systems, remote sensing and space communications. These being dual use technologies, will provide the Chinese considerable leverage economically as well as militarily. Chinese forays into space are also likely to comprise of research in Greenfield areas of black hole physics and hard X-rays emanating from the same. The plan was a part of the program of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10). For this purpose a recoverable satellite, Shijian-10 is to be launched and a telescope established. The key areas for research in space were identified as, space astronomy and solar physics, space physics and solar system exploration, and, microgravity science and space life science. For satellite launch a new generation of rocket, “Long March V” was to be developed in seven to eight years which would be used to launch a space station.

The six major goals for space science development identified were as follows:-

  • A manned spaceflight and moon exploration;
  • Independent development of Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT)
  • Launch recoverable space science experimental satellite;
  • Participate in the Sino-Russia Mars space exploration program;
  • Do more research into key technologies for space solar telescope;
  • Begin key scientific and technical research into space science
  • Another field in which major progress is being made is that of large sized aircraft. China is slated to have jumbo aircraft by 2020 which are planned to be indigenously developed. The development of large aircraft is considered a multi faceted capability which will provide China immense political as well as economic advantages. Politically the Chinese compare this with development of atomic bombs or launching space craft.

    See also, the important, related story:

    China`s 100 Year Vision of Greatness

    Rahul K. Bhonsle is a Strategic Risk and Knowledge Management Consultant and writer with specific focus on defence and security, especially in South Asia.