China's tech spending can’t flag even if economy slows

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/3 21:27:02

Tech spending can’t flag even if economy slows

As the economy shows more serious signs of slowing, can China find new engines of growth by narrowing its aerospace-technology gap with the US?

On Thursday, China successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the moon and took a photo from the surface - a global first. The country has moved from imitator to innovator, and in areas like aerospace and 5G telecommunications, it has become a strong competitor to the US.

Some observers believe that what lies behind the Sino-US trade row is Washington's concern over China's increasing ability in terms of technological innovation. It seems China's technological abilities have become strong enough to make the US worry.

However, China is feeling the brunt of the trade war, with new statistics showing that the economy is encountering its worst difficulties since the global financial crisis of 2008. If the country continues to spend large sums of money on basic science and aerospace technology, will these expenditures exert pressure on the Chinese economy?

Regardless of any growth slowdown, China needs to step up investment and master the most advanced technology. No matter what happens when it comes to the trade dispute or the domestic economy, China won't stint on technology spending.

The key issue is how to make breakthroughs such as lunar exploration a new engine to drive economic growth. China has become an emerging technology power, but we need to make rational use of our science and technology achievements to achieve the maximum possible benefits.

It is urgent for China to lift barriers on the civilian use of military and aerospace technologies, a move that will bring more investment into the application of advanced technology to ensure higher-quality products.

For example, the domestic satellite navigation system known as BeiDou is one of the flagships of the nation's efforts to commercialize technology. With more homegrown brands like that, scientific and technological progress will become a positive factor in boosting the economy and domestic consumption.

On Thursday, aerospace and defense stocks in China's A-share market rose amid an overall gloomy market, boosted by the robotic spacecraft's successful landing on the far side of the moon.

China needs more successful technology companies like US-based space company SpaceX.

If these companies' shares can rise, the real economy will gain more momentum.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.
Newspaper headline: Tech spending can’t flag even if economy slows


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