China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on Thursday that it will intensify efforts to cultivate strategic emerging industries such as artificial intelligence and smart cars in order to enhance its technological and industrial capabilities, as the country faces growing challenges and uncertainties from external factors. This move is expected to help China achieve greater self-reliance in critical technologies and cope with increasing restrictions on Chinese tech companies imposed by the United States.
Zhao Zhiguo, the ministry’s spokesperson, stated that China will take concrete steps towards achieving breakthroughs in core technologies, including 6G, optical communication, and quantum communication. The country will also invest more in research and development in tech frontiers such as AI and blockchain, while addressing bottlenecks in key components and systems to ensure the stability of global industrial and supply chains. These measures are part of China’s broader strategy to enhance its technological capabilities.
The latest announcement follows President Xi Jinping’s remarks during his recent inspection trip to Guangdong province, where he emphasized the importance of high-level self-reliance and strength in science and technology as the keys to Chinese modernization. He also called for quicker steps towards achieving self-reliance in science and technology to prevent containment by foreign countries.
However, tensions between China and the United States continue to rise, with Washington expected to unveil unprecedented measures later this month aimed at limiting US investments in Chinese tech companies. The new rules, reported by Politico, are expected to require US companies to notify the US government of new investments in Chinese tech firms and prohibit some deals in critical sectors like microchips.
Renowned economist and professor at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, believes that the tension between the two countries is largely driven by the US. He argues that the fear of China’s rise is misplaced and that economics is a win-win cooperative game, not a zero-sum game. Meanwhile, He Guangxi, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development, believes that the reported new rules indicate that Washington is tightening its containment of China’s tech industry, from sanctions on selected companies to sweeping restrictions on US investments in Chinese tech companies.