To transform the People’s Liberation Army into a “world-class army,” China needs to improve the system and layout of science, technology and national defense-related industries, the Hong Kong Post reported. China’s Defense Science and Technology (S and T) institutions form the backbone of China’s military might and are the most important source for its defense technology, although their R&D system also includes government research units , university and corporate research departments.
Earlier, on October 16, at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese leader stressed the improvement of the S and T Defense Institutes. Addressing the Congress, Xi said, “We will improve the system and layout science, technology, and national defense-related industries, and we will enhance capability development in these areas.”
Subsequently, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) held a cadre conference on October 25, at which its director, Zhang Kejian, reiterated Xi’s comments on the defense technology and asked his subordinates to carry out Xi’s crucial operations instructions, according to the Hong Kong Post. Defense technology reform is still a major goal for the CCP, and China will continue to pursue this goal to transform the PLA into a “world-class military.”
Despite the fact that these institutions are essential to China, the problems have always persisted. For Beijing to increase its defense technology development capability, these problems must be solved through genuine system reform. China’s S and T defense institutes have experienced inefficiencies and a lack of incentives to innovate, just like their parent companies. They have been classified as “public institutions” under the communist system, which means that the Chinese government has authority over their assets, finances, and manpower. Furthermore, the institution does not have efficient bureaucratic procedures and, at the same time, there is also low profitability, which discourages innovation.
Many industrial divisions of defense enterprises producing goods for the civilian market have been publicly traded since the beginning of the economic reform era of the 1980s, but the Sand T defense establishments housing sensitive technology have remained public organizations, ha reported the Hong Kong Post. In particular, the government embezzles institute funding and salaries, and their research results cannot be commercially exploited without official approval. As a result, neither the institute nor individual researchers have the flexibility to innovate.
The research arm of major Chinese defense companies on weapons and equipment consists of these institutes, which possess the fundamental military technology and work with associated scientists. Rather than their parent companies or institutions, they are the main force behind the development of Chinese defense technology. (ANI)
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