[TheRecord] China’s top policymaking body charts plan for science and technology ‘self-sufficiency’

China’s top policymaking body, the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission, approved a plan on Wednesday for developing homegrown science and technology with an eye toward helping China achieve “self-sufficiency and self-empowerment in technology.”

According to a summary of Xi’s comments at the meeting released by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese leader said that while China has made “substantial progress” in trying to develop its science and technology sector, the country continues to struggle with institutional barriers that have slowed progress. 

The adoption of the new plan — which replaces one from 2015 — is part of a broad, national approach to the development of technology. China is trying to leverage resources from both the public and private sector to build up the nation’s artificial intelligence and quantum computing capabilities.

For decades, China’s science and technology development borrowed from the Soviet model and didn’t focus on market demand or national goals. On Wednesday, Xi called for technology research to become more “target-oriented” and “problem-oriented,” according to Xinhua.

The announcement of the new three-year plan comes just as the Biden administration has tightened the screws on some Chinese tech companies. The Commerce Department announced on Wednesday that it had added a dozen Chinese companies to a trade blacklist because of national security concerns. 

Eight of the firms were cited for their alleged role in trying to help the Chinese military develop artificial intelligence and quantum computing by acquiring or trying to acquire “U.S. origin-items in support of military applications.”

For some time now, U.S. officials have worried aloud that Chinese companies are so beholden to the Beijing, central government that they collect sensitive information on behalf of China’s military. The Chinese Communist Party has responded by saying that it does not engage in industrial espionage. 

“Global trade and commerce should support peace, prosperity, and good-paying jobs, not national security risks,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “The Department of Commerce is committed to effectively using export controls to protect our national security.”

China responded in a press conference on Thursday. Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Shu Jueting said the Chinese government strongly opposed the sanctions on the Chinese companies, and will take it up with the U.S. directly.

Vice-Premier Liu He, Xi’s right-hand man who has been tasked with working through the American restrictions, wrote in a 6000-word article in the People’s Daily on Wednesday saying that technological innovation isn’t just important to China’s development, it is key to the country’s very survival.

According to a summary of Xi’s comments at the meeting released by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese leader said that while China has made “substantial progress” in trying to develop its science and technology sector, the country continues to struggle with institutional barriers that have slowed progress. 

The adoption of the new plan — which replaces one from 2015 — is part of a broad, national approach to the development of technology. China is trying to leverage resources from both the public and private sector to build up the nation’s artificial intelligence and quantum computing capabilities.

For decades, China’s science and technology development borrowed from the Soviet model and didn’t focus on market demand or national goals. On Wednesday, Xi called for technology research to become more “target-oriented” and “problem-oriented,” according to Xinhua.

The announcement of the new three-year plan comes just as the Biden administration has tightened the screws on some Chinese tech companies. The Commerce Department announced on Wednesday that it had added a dozen Chinese companies to a trade blacklist because of national security concerns. 

Eight of the firms were cited for their alleged role in trying to help the Chinese military develop artificial intelligence and quantum computing by acquiring or trying to acquire “U.S. origin-items in support of military applications.”

For some time now, U.S. officials have worried aloud that Chinese companies are so beholden to the Beijing, central government that they collect sensitive information on behalf of China’s military. The Chinese Communist Party has responded by saying that it does not engage in industrial espionage. 

“Global trade and commerce should support peace, prosperity, and good-paying jobs, not national security risks,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “The Department of Commerce is committed to effectively using export controls to protect our national security.”

China responded in a press conference on Thursday. Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Shu Jueting said the Chinese government strongly opposed the sanctions on the Chinese companies, and will take it up with the U.S. directly.

Vice-Premier Liu He, Xi’s right-hand man who has been tasked with working through the American restrictions, wrote in a 6000-word article in the People’s Daily on Wednesday saying that technological innovation isn’t just important to China’s development, it is key to the country’s very survival.

The post China’s top policymaking body charts plan for science and technology ‘self-sufficiency’ appeared first on The Record by Recorded Future.

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