China issues plan to promote high tech manufacturing
China issued an outline Friday of policies aimed at promoting high-tech manufacturing after it stopped pushing a strategy that helped trigger a tariff war with Washington.
A statement by the Cabinet’s planning agency called for the government to help manufacturers in autos, electronics and other fields. It gave few details about how to carry that out or whether it will involve diplomatically contentious market barriers or subsidies.
Tariff war threatens global economic growth
A previous plan, “Made in China 2025,” called for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics, electric cars and other fields. The United States and other trading partners complained that violated Beijing’s market-opening obligations and was based on subsidizing and shielding Chinese companies from competition.
American complaints helped to prompt President Donald Trump to hike tariffs on Chinese imports in mid-2018, setting off a tariff war that threatens global economic growth.
Beijing has resisted U.S. pressure to roll back development plans seen by Communist leaders as a path to prosperity and global influence.
Trump announced an interim agreement last month following talks in Washington and postponed a planned tariff hike on Chinese goods. The two sides are negotiating the details but appear to be disagreeing over Chinese demands for Washington to roll back some punitive tariffs and the size of possible Chinese purchases of soybeans and other farm goods.
Chinese leaders have stopped talking about “Made in China 2025,” though the government never formally renounced the plan.
Promoting high-quality development of manufacturing
The ruling Communist Party called again in December for “promoting high-quality development of manufacturing and deep integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries.”
Friday’s statement calls for creation of flagship firms and pilot zones for advanced manufacturing to be in place by 2025. It calls for accelerating research and development and achieving advanced manufacturing and sets other broad goals but gives no details of what the government’s role will be.
The report was jointly issued by the ministries of industry, finance and education, the central bank and other government agencies.