Chinese president Xi Jinping has again urged the nation to develop more the technology it needs to develop its economy.
In a Monday speech to a social and economic conference in Beijing, Xi called for China to “vigorously improve our independent innovation capabilities and make breakthroughs in key core technologies as soon as possible.”
Xi has said similar things for years, but never quite made a definitive statement on what is considered core technology. The term is generally accepted to encompass semiconductors, cloud-scale hardware and software stacks, AI, and quantum communications.
In this speech Xi said accelerating domestic innovation “is a major issue related to the overall situation of my country's development, and it is also the key to forming a major domestic cycle.”
That domestic cycle is important because Xi mentioned that china’s middle class now numbers 400 million people, sufficient for local demand to ensure growth. However he also called for “domestic and international dual cycles promote each other”.
The president also called for ongoing international collaboration, including with US private enterprise.
Internal reform that ensures Chinese businesses can both drive innovation and take advantage of it was another focus of the speech.
The speech was made against the background of trade tensions between China and much of the world. State-owned organ China Daily characterised one such skirmish - TikTok suing to avoid a US ban - as “gunboat diplomacy”. ®