Development of strategic, emerging industries can be bargaining chips in trade conflict

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/19 21:38:40

South China's Guangdong Province recently released a plan aiming to realize 150 billion yuan ($21.8 billion) worth of investments annually in strategic and emerging industries during the 2018-2020 period. Amid escalating trade friction with the US, China's industrial development and upgrading will determine the country's core competitiveness and the result of the trade dispute.

Behind the trade conflict is the US' concern over China's increasing ability in terms of technological innovation. If Washington tries to use the trade dispute as a political tool to restrain the rise of China's high-technology industries, its efforts will be in vain.

China's determination to upgrade its industrial structure is stronger than many had expected.

The industrial sector occupies an important place in the Chinese economy. To ease the pressure of US protectionist trade policy, China must find an internal impetus that drives industrial development and economic growth.

Guangdong is one of the leading industrial provinces of China and an innovation powerhouse.

The region has been a forerunner of economic change and technological innovation since China's reform and opening-up began in 1978.

If China decides to start a new round of reform to promote technical innovation, Guangdong offers a window to observe the country's industrial upgrading.

The Guangdong government said it will try to maintain approximately 6-percent annual industrial investment growth and about 12-percent technological investment in industrial sectors over the coming three years.

Strategic industries like new-generation information technology, advanced equipment manufacturing, bio-medicine, new materials and the digital economy are being emphasized.

Guangdong has some key advantages in reinventing itself as a pioneer of China's industrial development and upgrading. After decades of development, the city of Shenzhen has become a national research and development base for advanced manufacturing.

If Guangdong can upgrade its industrial structure based on Shenzhen's advantages, the province is likely to become the engine of China's new round of industrial development.

As the trade conflict between China and the US continues to escalate, the development of strategic and emerging industries will help China gain more chips in the game.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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