03/06/2021, 12.54
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NPC: Beijing to challenge US tech leadership

This is the main goal of the 14th five-year economic plan. Beijing wants to dominate sectors like  robotics, smart machines, innovative vaccines and transport systems. US boycott of Huawei is a source of concern. Washington ready to respond with a US$ 30 billion investment.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – China wants to build a modern manufacturing sector based on cutting-edge technologies in order to lead the world and challenge the technological domination of the United States.

This is the main objective of China’s 14th five-year economic plan, which the National People's Congress (NPC) is called upon to approve in the coming days. The NPC began its annual session yesterday with a speech by Prime Minister li Keqiang.

Together with the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which opened on Thursday, the PNC rubberstamps the decisions already taken by President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China.

The 2021-2025 five-year plan focuses on the development of eight priority areas in trade and technology pitting China against the United States.

For Beijing, robotics and self-driving cars are among the most promising sectors. Control over rare earths, used mainly in micro-chips, green and military technologies, is a priority. China is the world's leading producer of these minerals, which it also sells to the United States.

Manufacturing aircraft engines is necessary in order to limit dependence on foreign suppliers.  In addition to aviation, China wants to increase its autonomy in agricultural machinery, ships and high-speed trains, and boost industrial applications of Beidou, its own global navigation satellite system.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought home the need to have a modern healthcare system. Chinese leaders plan to invest in the production of vaccines, innovative drugs and modern medical equipment.

With the hi-tech transformation of its manufacturing sector, China wants to achieve self-sufficiency vis-à-vis the United States, which excels in software.

In Beijing's eyes, the US boycott of Chinese tech giants like Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp confirms the need to become independent in the development of new technologies.

According to press reports, Washington is already planning a countermove. in April, the US Congress is expected to allocate billion to improve the country's competitiveness against China. This is part of a package of measures designed to boost the country’s technology sector.

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