Global business leaders praise country's steps to foster innovation, technologies
China's efforts to pursue self-reliance in crucial technologies will create opportunities for multinationals to thrive along with their Chinese counterparts, as a more innovative China can help buoy global economic recovery, stabilize supply chains and spur innovation, experts and global business leaders said.
Stronger homegrown innovation and deeper international cooperation are needed, amid headwinds such as a gloomy global economic outlook, to make China a global pacesetter in key sectors and a major science and innovation hub, they added.
Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said, "Through broad partnerships with local companies, we have sincerely felt that Chinese enterprises have the determination and courage to build themselves into world-class players.
"Chinese enterprises have actively integrated themselves into the overall landscape of global technological innovation, which has created even broader opportunities for cooperation with companies like Qualcomm," Meng said.
In the coming years, he said, digital technologies such as 5G, the internet of things, intelligent connected vehicles, virtual reality and augmented reality will create new space for growth.
"Qualcomm and Chinese companies will have even bigger opportunities for cooperation ahead, and we will keep creating value together," he added.
Qualcomm is just one of the foreign companies that are prospering with China, as the country implements an innovation-driven development strategy and accelerates its push to pursue breakthroughs in crucial technologies.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the country must scale up its investment in high-tech sectors and strategic emerging industries, while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the 20th CPC Central Committee last week.
Xi stressed efforts to enhance the security and stability of the nation's development and called for quicker steps in ensuring self-reliance in science and technology, in order to prevent containment by foreign countries.
Wang Yiming, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said global competition in strategically important industries has intensified, and the United States has adopted a "small courtyard with high walls" approach against China, which aims to contain the nation's high-tech sectors.
"Pursuing self-reliance in core technologies is now not just a matter of development, but a matter of survival," Wang said, adding that self-reliance is a prerequisite to guarantee national security.
But that does not mean China is pursuing a closed development path. Instead, it is of great importance for the country to coordinate the relationship between self-reliance in crucial supply chains and international cooperation, said Xu Jie, a professor of economics at the National Academy of Governance.
"Self-sufficiency can only be achieved to a certain extent. It is difficult to cover all links of the supply chains, so we should combine homegrown innovation with global cooperation," said Xu.
Pan Jiaofeng, president of the Institutes of Science and Development at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that as the world's second-largest economy and the largest manufacturing nation, China needs to secure its supply chains amid challenges via innovation. Only in this way can it serve the world economy and help stabilize global industrial chains.
"By doing a good job in that respect, China can also better partner with other countries for innovation and deal with uncertainties," Pan added.
Vivian Zhang, general manager of Merck China Healthcare, said, "We applaud China's determined efforts to become self-reliant in pursuit of innovation-powered, high-quality development.
"We continue to forge strong strategic partnerships with local pharmaceutical companies," Zhang said, adding that the German company is committed to driving innovation in China's evolving healthcare ecosystem with a local research and development hub in Beijing.
Hou Yang, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China, said: "To us, China is one of the world's most innovative and dynamic markets. We plan to continue helping Chinese innovators elevate their technology solutions on the global stage."
The company has built five of the most capable R&D centers in China in terms of basic research, he said. Microsoft also has extended cooperation with local governments with a string of innovation incubators.
In the 2022 Global Innovation Index, China rose to 11th place, up from 34th in 2012, and firmly remains the only middle-income economy in the top 30, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Denis Depoux, global managing director of consultancy Roland Berger, said China has demonstrated its innovation capabilities and is leapfrogging and gaining leadership globally in areas such as the electric vehicle chain, from batteries to charging infrastructure, as well as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines and telecommunications equipment.
"We anticipate that, in the near future, global competitiveness will be increasingly driven by China's technological innovation," Depoux said.