China is building national-level laboratories in an attempt to boost defence capabilities and technological developments.

Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence vice-minister Sun Laiyan says China is building a “first-class integrated national-level research base” to stimulate defence innovation.

“The labs will focus on the research of major basic sciences, strategic high technologies and system integration technologies,” Laiyan says.

“The labs will not be in a large number, but we’ll pilot new management and operation models to achieve big breakthroughs in major science-tech fields.”

The Chinese defence sector already has more than 400,000 scientific research staff and 300 research institutes Laiyan says.