BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's spending on research and development (R&D) hit a record high at 2.19 percent of its GDP last year, up by 0.04 percentage points in 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The country's total expenditure on R&D amounted to 1.97 trillion yuan (about 278 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up by 207.2 billion yuan compared with that in 2017, according to a report released by the NBS.
The investment in basic research for the first time surpassed 100 billion yuan last year, accounting for 5.5 percent of the total spending, said the NBS.
In 2016, six provincial regions in China, including Guangdong, Jiangsu, Beijing, Shandong, Zhejiang and Shanghai, each invested more than 100 billion yuan on R&D.
China's expenditure on R&D has seen double-digit growth for three consecutive years, and since 2013, the country has remained in second place in terms of R&D spending worldwide, said the NBS statistician Li Yin.
When it comes to the R&D intensity, Li said that China still lagged behind countries with high technologies, such as the United States and Japan.
Li stresses greater financial support and an improved R&D investment policy system and made the R&D spending more efficient and targeted.