China’s Xi Pledges Support for Innovative Cos Amid US Rivalry
Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged companies to break technological barriers as Beijing mobilizes its private sector to counter what it sees as containment by the US and its allies.
Innovation led by companies is key to realizing “high-level technological self-reliance,” Xi declared at a meeting on Friday attended by senior Communist Party officials, including Premier Li Qiang. The government should help companies crack core tech challenges facing the country, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the meeting Xi presided over.
Xi said the key to growing private business lies in removing institutional barriers that impede fair competition and calibrating policy to ensure better coordination and “solve companies’ real difficulties.” The state sector should be reformed to ensure national economic security, he added, while improving efficiency and oversight.
The comments from Xi come as Beijing grapples with Washington’s escalating efforts to curb China’s access to key technologies, partly due to national security concerns. President Joe Biden is considering signing an executive order in the coming weeks that will limit American business investment in key parts of China’s economy, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the deliberations.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday the US was prepared to accept economic costs to protect national security interests from threats posed by Beijing. The US has already rallied Japan and the Netherlands to introduce export controls on shipments of advanced chip technology to China.
Xi’s comments also mark a shift in Beijing’s view of private business after years of intense regulatory crackdowns, especially on the tech sector. He has recently made calls for the world’s No. 2 economy to pursue self-reliance across key industries to counter the US.
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