Integrated circuits on a printed circuit board.

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According to Li, China’s research and development spending will increase more than 7% annually between 2021 and 2025. R&D will account for a higher percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) than in the past 5 years. He did not give details of how much the government would spend in absolute terms.

China’s R&D spending soared 10.3% to 2.44 trillion Chinese yuan ($ 378 billion), accounting for 2.4% of GDP in 2020, according to official statistics.

Meanwhile, central government spending on basic research will increase by 10.6%, Li said.

The two sessions this year mark the beginning of China’s 14th Five-Year Development Plan, which sets priorities and goals for the coming years. The current plan runs from 2021 to 2025.

In the past, the annual meeting of delegates has overseen major changes, including President Xi Jinping’s removal of term limits in 2018.

In his report, Li set out China’s vision for the next five years.

“In order to improve China’s innovation system, we will work faster to improve our strategic scientific and technological capabilities, underpinned by the development of national laboratories, make major breakthroughs in core technologies in key areas, and formulate and implement a ten-year action plan for basic research,” said he.

China will focus on developing a number of technology areas, including semiconductors, healthcare, quantum computing and cloud computing, according to a draft of its five-year plan.