Hi-tech partnership hopes to transform capital into new 'Silicon Valley'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 12:00am

The defence industry will join hands with Beijing's hi-tech industry to spearhead hi-tech development in the capital, Xinhua reported yesterday.

The Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence yesterday signed an agreement with the Beijing Municipal Government under which the commission will take part in the development of the Zhongguancun Hi-Tech Park in Beijing, Xinhua said.

Situated near Beijing's university district, Zhongguancun is considered the mainland's 'Silicon Valley' for its concentration of computer and hi-tech companies.

Commission head Liu Jibin said the move was part of an effort to 'fundamentally change the poor applicability of technological research of defence enterprises'.

'We should accelerate the mutual application of military and civilian technologies,' said Mr Liu, who hoped the co-operation would lead to similar ventures in other regions.

Vice-Minister of Science and Technology Deng Nan reportedly said the move would accelerate structural reform of the defence industry.

The commission now has 10 major corporations specialising in nuclear, astronautics, aeronautics, ship-building and ordnance areas.

Xinhua said the commission had more than 200,000 research staff from hundreds of institutes in Beijing.

The agreement would be a boost to Beijing, which hopes to become the mainland's hi-tech centre.