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China to Invest 30 Bln Yuan in 147 Key Science Projects

China will invest 30 billion yuan (US$3.75 billion) in 147 key science programs, such as developing maglev trains and wind power stations or seawater desalination technologies.

7.35 billion yuan (US$918.75 million) has already been allocated from the central budget and the remaining funds are expected to come from companies, local governments and institutes, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) announced on Friday, as it launched the five-year project.

The Ministry drew particular attention to 50 high-profile projects. They included 2-3 megawatt wind power stations, magnetically levitated trains running at 500 km/hour and highly efficient seawater desalination equipment.

The science programs cover about 11 fields such as energy, environment, population, health care, public security and urban planning.

"These programs will try to solve critical science and technology problems that are hampering China's economic and social development," said Wang Xiaofang, director of the MST Planning Bureau.

He said the programs were designed to enhance China's competitive capability in key industries and the independent innovation capacity of Chinese companies.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2007)

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