Thursday, March 11, 2021

Top Leader Says China Still 30 Years Away From Manufacturing “Greatness”

A top Chinese leader told Communist Party delegates that China is at least 30 years away from being a manufacturing country of “great power”, the BBC and Reuters said.

While the country’s manufacturing industry has grown large and diversified, it remains weak – observed Miao Wei, who formerly was China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology for a decade before stepping down in 2020.

Alluding to the US-China rivalry, he noted that “core technology are in the hands of others” and country risks of “being hit in the throat”. Miao was almost certainly referring to the US, which currently has the edge in chip-making and other technologies.

Under former President Trump, the US had cut off Chinese companies from acquiring its advanced technologies. President Biden has yet to reverse most, if any, of these policies. As such, both countries seem locked in an escalating technological arms race.

Ironically, while Chinese leaders fuss about their country’s lagging capabilities, the US side seems similarly horrified that China may be leaving America in the dust.

A government funded commission urged President Biden to use targeted export controls on high-end chipmaking equipment to protect America’s advantages and “slow the advancement of the China’s semiconductor industry.” In other words, they want Biden to keep Trump’s pressure on China.

Back to China, Miao said insufficient market-oriented reforms were hindering the high-quality development of Chinese manufacturing. Aside from the fact that it’s somewhat surprising for a communist official to say this, it’s also deeply ironic because Washington often complains about China’s state-backed companies.

But then again, there’s no shortage of irony in this supposed Cold War 2.0.

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