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China is at least 30 years old from becoming a “great power” in production: a former minister

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is at least 30 years old from becoming a “great power” manufacturing country, a former industry minister said on Sunday, despite boasting the most complete industrial supply chains.

In recent years, China has become the world’s largest manufacturing nation, accounting for more than a third of global production, driven by domestic demand for everything from motor vehicles to industrial machinery. But the industry’s high dependence on high-tech products in the United States as semiconductors is a strategic weakness.

“Key opportunities are still weak, key technologies are in the hands of others, and the risk of ̵

6;hitting the throat’ and ‘slipping on a bicycle chain’ has increased significantly,” said Miao Wei, who has been industry and information technology minister for a decade. before retiring last year.

As the Chinese economy shifts to a service-based model and smoke-polluting factories, production as a share of the economy declines. In 2020, production accounted for just over a quarter of gross domestic product, the lowest since 2012.

“The ratio of output to GDP is declining too early and too fast, which not only weighs on economic growth and affects employment, but also has loopholes in the security of our industries and reduces the ability of our economy to withstand risks and its global competitiveness. , ”Said Miao, who is now a member of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the government’s highest advisory body.

President Xi Jinping said in November that innovation in the manufacturing industry was far from adequate and that companies needed to tackle bottleneck technologies to become fully innovative.

“China’s manufacturing industry has made great strides in recent years, but the situation of being ‘big but not strong’ and ‘comprehensive but not good’ has not changed radically,” Miao told CPPCC delegates in the Great Hall of the People. Beijing.

There are many problems limiting the high-quality development of Chinese production, but the main one is insufficient market-oriented reform, Miao said.

While the tax burden on companies remains high and financial support for the manufacturing sector urgently needs to be strengthened, the shortage of innovative and high-tech talent has also significantly limited the sector’s development, Miao added.

“We must maintain our strategic determination, stay clean and deeply understand the gaps and shortcomings.”

Report by Stella Kiu, Ryan Wu, Hali Gu and Ingji Yang; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore and Christopher Cushing

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