China’s leaders vow to become self-reliant technology power

BEIJING (AP) — China’s leaders are vowing to make their country a self-reliant “technology power” as a feud with Washington cuts access to United States (US) computer chips and other high-tech components, hampering Beijing’s industrial ambitions.

Leaders of the ruling party made the announcement yesterday after a meeting to draft a development blueprint for the state-dominated economy over the next five years.

President Xi Jinping’s government is trying to limit damage from the Trump administration’s curbs on technology sales to China in a fight over security and spying.

The curbs threaten to disrupt plans to create Chinese companies able to compete in telecoms, biotech and other fields, which communist leaders see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

“Science and technology should be self-reliant as a strategic support for national development,” said a party statement. It promised to “accelerate the building of a science and technology power” but gave no details.

Five-Year Plans, issued since the 1950s, form the basis of regulation and industry initiatives in an economy where the ruling party still plays a leading role after four decades of market-style reforms. The full plan is due to be released in March. Changes in regulations and plans for individual industries will be announced after that.