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China's military has offered USD 870 million to private firms and institutes to fund 2,000 projects for research on equipment and weapons in a bid to boost military-civilian integration and upgrade military technologies. The Central Military Commission's (CMC) equipment development department released a guideline on its website, saying China plans to invest six billion yuan (USD 870 million) this year for research in shared technology and other research, Zhuangbei Keji, a WeChat account affiliated with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily, said. The money will be used to fund 2,000 projects and encourage companies and institutes to come up with new technologies as pushed by President Xi Jinping. A million yuan has been allocated to project to study the temperature adaptability of solid propellants, state-run Global Times reported today. Getting private companies involved in military technology research can reduce costs, boost military-civilian integration and help upgrade military technology, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times. Military-owned companies have many restrictions in developing new technologies due to a lack of manpower and resources. However, private companies may also face difficulties, as the military has relatively higher standards, Li said. Private Chinese firms have been allowed to carry out research and manufacture military equipment since 2005, and more than 1,000 private firms have gained approval to enter the military industry, the report said. Xi who heads the CMC is pushing for civil, military integration especially in R&D to reduce excess dependence on the military following the massive anti-graft campaign since 2014 in which about 50 top PLA officials have been inducted.
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