China sets itself 2035 goal for technology self-sufficiency and covets title as the world’s top innovator

State of local software industry also revealed: 7 million workers, $36bn of exports


The Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party has declared the nation will become the world’s top innovator in coming years and says it wants to be entirely self-sustaining in tech within 15 years.

The Committee has met this week to discuss China’s next five-year plan that sets economic and social policy from 2021 to 2025. The Committee took the opportunity to also set goals stretching out to the year 2035.

Among those goals is becoming self-sufficient in technology and the world’s most innovative nation by 2035. That goal was cast as a strategic and economic necessity and it’s not hard to see why - given US policy currently uses cutting off supply to China as a trade and strategic weapon, and a defensive security tactic.

China also tied Improved technological capability to a drive for economic reform and improved productivity. The plan includes calls for domestic consumption to increase and to become more of a growth driver.

Since the late 1970s, Chinese leaders have said the nation should become a “moderately prosperous society.” The new plan says that goal has all-but been achieved, with the result that millions have been lifted from poverty and national GDP per capita has now reached US$10,200 according to World Bank data.

That level of income sees China ranked just below the world average of $11,400 and around 68th in the world. The new plan calls for ascension to the ranks of “moderately-developed nations.” That’s not a widely used term, but with the World Bank cut-off for high income nations at $44,000 GDP per capita, it seems China hopes to hop quite a few rungs up the income ladder.

To make that happen, the new plan calls for reduction in development disparities between urban and rural areas, plus more consistent development efforts across China’s regions.

The plan also calls for China to be greener, and for that effort and other trade initiatives to reshape global alliances and diplomacy.

Strap yourself in, dear reader. This will hopefully be fun to watch and live through. ®


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