China lays out its vision to become a tech power

China aims to become a world leader in advanced industries such as semiconductors and in the next generation of chip materials, robotics, aviation equipment and satellites, the government said in its blueprint for development between 2016 and 2020.

In its new draft five-year development plan unveiled on Saturday, Beijing also said it aims to use the internet to bolster a slowing economy and make the country a cyber power.

China aims to boost its R&D spending to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product for the five-year period, compared with 2.1 percent of GDP in 2011-to-2015.

Innovation is the primary driving force for the country’s development, Premier Li Keqiang said in a speech at the start of the annual full session of parliament.

China is hoping to marry its tech sector’s nimbleness and ability to gather and process mountains of data to make other, traditional areas of the economy more advanced and efficient, with an eye to shoring up its slowing economy and helping transition to a growth model that is driven more by services and consumption than by exports and investment.

This policy, known as “Internet Plus”, also applies to government, health care and education.

As technology has come to permeate every layer of Chinese business and society, controlling technology and using technology to exert control have become key priorities for the government.

China will implement its “cyber power strategy”, the five-year plan said, underscoring the weight Beijing gives to controlling the Internet, both for domestic national security and the aim of becoming a powerful voice in international governance of the web.

China aims to increase Internet control capabilities, set up a network security review system, strengthen cyberspace control and promote a multilateral, democratic and transparent international Internet governance system, according to the plan.

Since President Xi Jinping came to power in early 2013, the government has increasingly reined in the Internet, seeing the web as a crucial domain for controlling public opinion and eliminating anti-Communist Party sentiment.

China will “strengthen the struggle against enemies in online sovereign space and increase control of online public sentiment,” said the plan.

It will also “perfect cybersecurity laws and legislation”.

Such laws and regulations have sparked fear amongst foreign businesses operating in China, and prompted major powers to express concern to Beijing over three new or planned laws, including one on counterterrorism.

These laws codify sweeping powers for the government to combat perceived threats, from widespread censorship to heightened control over certain technologies.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Additional reporting by Ryan Woo in BEIJING; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: Reuters “China lays out its vision to become a tech power”


6 Comments on “China lays out its vision to become a tech power”

  1. Combo Jaxx says:

    China ought to raise its R&D spending to at least 6% of its GDP. Only then China can hope to close the gap in a decade or so.


  2. pflau says:

    Something to look forward to for any hint of “democratic and transparent” reform. Can China continue to prosper and rise without such reform? Xi has stated previously the goal of lifting all Chinese out of poverty, in which he has some success. Now, if the moderation of human rights policy is real, then all efforts will be focused on fulfilling the vision of an internet age Asia.


    • Combo Jaxx says:

      Absolutely NO ! The USSR collapsed just because they did try to actuate Perestroika and Glastnost in tandem. Had they essentially adopted a somewhat different policy course and taken one step at a time, (namely given the go ahead for Perestroika first, Glastnost second) they might as well have accomplished their goals and perhaps even prevented the disastrous & shambolic collapse of the whole USSR. But they hustled too much on pursuing the liberal values while largely neglecting the whole economic reforms & modernisation of the industrial manufacturing sector, and ultimately they weren’t able to obtain neither. This should be an exemplary lesson for the Chinese leadership.


      • pflau says:

        The collapse of the USSR was mainly due to economic reasons. In fact, its downfall was caused by economic isolation by the west. China is wise not to repeat that mistake. China came into existence in 1949 by the popular support of the people. The vision of “people’s republic” has not changed in all these years, only the means. Xi seems to recognize that the economic and political rise of China cannot succeed without the support of the people.


    • Kung Fu-Tzu says:


      Professor Shambaugh in the SCMP article says China should reform politically and that its current state of affairs politically is the cause of its problems.

      I am not so sure about that. China will eventually be like SIngapore. But not now. It will trail SIngapore in the matter of political reforms. In other words, Chinese knows what’s best for themselves. Westerners should cease foistering their systems and standards on countries at different stages of development. As Lee Kuan Yew said, what is more important is the direction the country is going.

      As far as I am concern, China is going in the right direction. When enough people are more knowledgeable, secure, and confident in themselves, then it can start tinkering with multi party politics. That may take another generation or two.

      More so with Washington’s belligerent and hostile behaviour towards China and Chinese. In truth, Washington has declared war on China which means China is a country at war presently. Certainly all the more reason NOT to have multi party politics if that’s what professor Shambaugh says it should have.

      Since I do not consider professor Shambaugh as a fool, I can only infer he is Washington’s mouthpiece so as to advance his career, as “multi party democracies’ is Washington’s tool for effecting regime changes to leaderships and governments it doesn’t like across the world. His suggestions are not in the interest of China. Not certainly at this stage of heightened aggression from the Evil Empire against all sovereign countries.


      • pflau says:

        There is a middle ground for everything. On the one hand, you have the continual political gridlock and racial tension of the US. On the other, you have China governed by the vision of a central committee. Stability is most important to both systems

        Voice to overthrow the government is not tolerated by either. While the US does not allow overthrow of its own government, it is advocating or complicit in the overthrow of other (religious or socialist) states. Ultimately, US policy e.g. economic sanction or military intervention is aimed at harming the people. Is there anything more cruel than starving (economically) the opponent into submission?