China placing priority on biotechnology

Updated: 2011-06-28 09:44

By Wang Yu and Li Xiang (China Daily)

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China placing priority on biotechnology

A company exhibits biodiesel fuel at an expo held in Beijing. From 2011 to 2015, the biotechnology industry is expected to generate 1 million jobs and reduce emissions of the most common pollutants by 10 percent, said Ma Hongjian, deputy director of China National Center for Biotechnology Development. [Photo / China Daily]

TIANJIN - China will spend 2 trillion yuan ($308.5 billion) on science and technology, making biotechnology a major priority, in the next five years, Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong said at the ongoing 2011 International Conference for Bio-economy (Bio Eco 2011).

The Chinese Government will work to further combine biotechnology with economic development and with improving ordinary people's livelihood, Liu said.

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"The development priorities of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) - biopharmacy, bio-engineering, bio-agriculture and biomanufacturing - will bring benefits to Chinese people."

In the next five years, China will further use biotechnology to prevent disasters or alleviate the harm caused by them, to protect the environment, to employ "green" construction methods and to control climate change. Meanwhile, the latest innovations in biotechnology should be relied on to guarantee domestic standards are met for nutrition, hygiene, healthcare, food and drug safety and disease diagnosis and prevention, Liu stressed.

Liu's opinion was echoed by Percy W. Misika, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in China. Misika contended that the energy shortage is getting increasingly severe in the world. Biotechnology should be employed in campaigns to make food safer and to combat climate change.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the Chinese Government will spend 20 billion yuan on innovative medicine, on the cultivation of new varieties of genetically modified organisms and on the prevention and control of viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases, according to Ma Hongjian, deputy director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development.

Biotechnology has become a strategic pillar industry for China. From 2011 to 2015, it is expected to generate 1 million jobs, extend people's life expectancies by one year and reduce the infant mortality rate to 12 percent, as well as reduce emissions of the most common pollutants by 10 percent, Ma elaborated.

Huang Xingguo, mayor of Tianjin municipality, said the city has become a center for the production of biotechnology products in China.

Bio Eco 2011 is being held in Tianjin from Sunday to Tuesday. Sponsored by both the Tianjin Municipal government and 14 state ministries, the conference has the motto: "Develop the bio-economy, improve people's livelihoods".



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