President Xi Jinping of China has emphasized the urgent need for greater innovation and technology in the face of mounting restrictions imposed by the United States. During his visit to a high-tech manufacturing zone in Jiangsu province, President Xi called to accelerate the upgrades in key technologies and core products.
Acknowledging the constant emergence of disruptive technologies, President Xi stressed the importance of maintaining a strong foundation in innovation. He emphasized the goal of achieving high-level self-reliance in technology, which would contribute to China’s industrial resilience and overall development.
This call for strengthening technological innovation comes as tensions between China and the United States continue to escalate, particularly when it comes to the semiconductor industry. The ongoing trade war initiated during the Trump administration persists under President Joe Biden’s leadership, leading to considerations of further restrictions on the sale of AI microchips. These measures build upon last year’s comprehensive export controls that aimed to sever China’s access to semiconductor chips manufactured anywhere in the world using U.S. equipment.
In addition to this, the United States is contemplating restricting its investments and knowledge transfer to Chinese companies involved in advanced semiconductor production, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.
President Xi’s emphasis on self-reliance and scientific breakthroughs reflects China’s determination to protect its technological sector. This has prompted the involvement of state-owned enterprises in securing key core technologies to protect the country’s industrial security. China’s recent announcement of export controls on metals commonly used in electric vehicles and semiconductors surprised many. It’s said that these measures are just the beginning of a series of actions aimed at protecting national security and interests.
During her visit to Beijing, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen conveyed the United States’ desire for healthy competition based on fair rules that benefit both countries. Rejecting a zero-sum approach, Yellen emphasized the importance of cooperation while acknowledging the need for mutually beneficial competition. Her visit followed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip, during which he echoed President Xi’s sentiment that the rivalry between the two nations should not escalate into conflict.
The ongoing dialogue between the US and China aims to strike a delicate balance between competition and cooperation, ensuring that both nations can harness the benefits of technological advancements while avoiding potential conflicts. Though, China’s focus on greater innovation and self-reliance is a rallying cry to assert its technological capabilities and protect its national interests. The ability to innovate and adapt will undoubtedly shape the global superpowers’ future trajectory.