China today slashed restrictions on the types of arms that private firms are allowed to develop without licenses.
The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Armament Department on Tuesday released a catalogue of weaponry that requires licensing.
Listing 11 categories of arms and 755 items in total, it is a third of the length of the previous such catalogue, published in 2005.
"Restrictions are imposed only on arms that are closely related to national strategic security, public security and state secret security," said Wang Xin, an official with the SASTIND was quoted by Xinhua.
Licenses are also needed to develop auxiliary products that play an important role in items on the list, Wang added.
Defence production and research is largely state-controlled in China but Beijing is trying to involve the private sector in a big way to bring competitiveness and boost exports.