President Xi Jinping slams US-led ‘suppression of China’
BEIJING: President Xi Jinping has condemned what he branded an American-led “suppression of China”, as he urged the country’s private sector to boost innovation and become more self-reliant.
China’s technology ambitions have been hit with a raft of restrictions by the United States and its Western allies, and Beijing has doubled down on the need to shift away from imports for sectors perceived as vital to national security, such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence.
Washington has in recent months tightened sanctions on Chinese chipmakers, citing national security concerns and the risk of the technology being used by China’s military.
In a rare direct criticism of the US, Xi told industry leaders that “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development”.
Xi, who will be granted a third consecutive presidential term in the coming days at the highly choreographed National Party Congress (NPC), said the past five years have been riddled with a new set of hurdles that threaten to weigh down China’s economic rise.
According to state-run Xinhua news agency, Xi said China must “have the courage to fight as the country faces profound and complex changes in both the domestic and international landscape”, in the address to delegates at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which runs alongside the NPC.
The 69-year-old said private firms “should take the initiative to pursue high-quality development”, Xinhua reported late Monday.
Earlier this week Xi vowed to bolster China’s manufacturing capacity and said the country should be able to fend for itself.
“I’ve always said there are two critical areas for China: one is to safeguard our rice bowl, and the other is to build up a strong manufacturing sector,” he said.
“As a great nation of 1.4 billion people, we must rely on ourselves… We can’t depend on international markets to save us.”