Law 'needed for weapon research'

By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-16 07:04

A legislator has proposed enacting a defense production law to create a legal framework facilitating research and development of weaponry.

"The defense industry has a dual mission of serving national security and economic growth," said Xu Yuanming. "The country lacks a law to guide the industry in research and production."

Xu, also an executive with China North Industries Group Corporation, the largest weapon-manufacturing group in the country, said he had submitted a motion to the country's top legislature, proposing early legislation.

Defense weaponry development, once largely a State monopoly, has recently opened its doors to private businesses, Xu said while attending the annual session of the National People's Congress, due to end today.

This has made a law all the more necessary, he added.

"To better adapt to a market economy and the rule of law, the country needs a special statute to specify and regulate the rights, responsibilities and relations of the government, military and civilian institutions and businesses."

The purpose is to enhance the national defense consciousness of society, and ensure those engaged in research and production cooperate and serve national security, he said.

The National Defense Law, enacted 10 years ago, contains only a few "general principles" regarding armaments production. A more specific law is required to help implement and embody them, Xu said.

For example, the proposed law will provide guarantees for enterprises and institutions to compete on an equal footing for scientific research and production deals, he said.

In addition to quality control, the bill will also prescribe that incentives in taxation and funding be given to qualified researchers and producers, Xu said.

The legislator said the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has made initial preparations for the legislation.

(China Daily 03/16/2007 page1)

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