• Cloning is considered controversial in the world of science.

Cloning is considered controversial in the world of science. (Photo : Reuters)

With Chinese scientists signing the deal, a commercial animal cloning center will be established in the port city of Tianjin, marking a significant milestone in the controversial science.

The plant, located in the government-sponsored business development park Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), will be dedicated for the cloning of animals such as pet dogs, race horses and beef cattle.

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Sources revealed that the main building is currently under construction. It will start its operations in the first half of 2016.

The TEDA signed the deal on Friday with Sinica, a Boyalife Group subsidiary which specializes in regenerative and stem cell medicine.

With a budget of 200 million yuan from investments, Sinica will jointly build the cloning center with the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine, Peking University's Institute of Molecular Medicine, and the Republic of Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

Xu Xiaochun, Boyalife Group's board chairman, said that the center will initially produce 100,000 cattle embryos but will eventually increase it to a million.

The establishment of the cloning hub comes amid the struggle of Chinese farmers in producing beef cattle to meet the consumers' demand.

Xu furthered that the center will be the largest of its kind in the world. It will also house a gene storage area and a museum.

Chinese scientists have started cloning sheep, pigs and cattle in 2000.

In Sept. 2014, the first commercial Chinese cloning firm was built in the eastern Shandong Province. The company is a Boyalife-Sooam Biotech joint venture.