The major advisory bodies on policy to the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council are in three institutions directly affiliated to the State Council and are active in research funding:
- Development Research Centre (DRC), which is a state agency responsible for policy research, strategy review and consulting on the economic and social development of mainland China;
- Counsellor’s Office of the State Council, which advises the government on national affairs;
- Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which functions as the national scientific think-tank, providing advisory and appraisal services on the national economy, social development, and science and technology progress.
Since economic reform and opening-up policy in 1978, China’s economy has experienced remarkable growth. Recognising that transport plays a vital role in economic development and in improving quality of life, the government has accelerated the construction of transport infrastructure and promoted all transport modes.
Transport research is oriented to developing an efficient transport system both technologically and organisationally but also to resolving socio-economic problems related to transport. Policy documents of relevance to transport research are:
- 11th five-year plan of China
- 12th five-year plan of China.
A major funding institution for scientific research is the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), which is directly affiliated to the State Council. The NSFC was founded in February 1986 with the approval of the State Council. This institution manages the National Natural Science Fund, which promotes and finances fundamental and applied research in China. NSFC has four funds:
- Fund for General Projects, national Key Programmes or Major Programmes
- Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars
- Fund for Projects of International Cooperation and Exchanges
- Fund for Joint Research Fund for Overseas Chinese, Hong Kong and Macao Young Scholars.
In addition to National Natural Science Foundation, specific transport projects are funded by the following four ministries:
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Science and Technology
- Ministry of Transport
- Ministry of Railways.
Provincial governments also provide project funds for the province-related transport projects.
Organisations responsible for the institutional framework and funding: