A 5G-enabled self-driving retail car is seen in a street in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. [Photo by Li Zhihao/For China Daily]
Breakthroughs in key technologies, solutions expected
China will intensify efforts to resolve weak areas of industry and implement several projects this year to achieve breakthroughs in key technologies and solutions to bottleneck problems, according to the nation's top industry regulator.
The efforts are part of China's broader push to be a manufacturing powerhouse and ensure steady growth of its sprawling industrial economy.
Xiao Yaqing, minister of industry and information technology, said opportunities outweigh challenges, and the fundamentals for sustainable and healthy development remain unchanged, when asked how he views the industrial economy for this year.
"China is already a large manufacturing country with an independent and complete industrial system. The industrial economy has advantages in scale and resilience. But there are still problems such as a relatively weak industrial foundation and overreliance on certain crucial foreign technologies," Xiao said.
To solve these problems, China will boost resources for the modernization of its industrial chains. First of all, more efforts will be made to implement the industrial infrastructure re-engineering project.
Focusing on the weak industrial links, efforts will be made to carry out engineering research on key basic technologies and products, strengthen overall quality management, and establish a number of national manufacturing innovation centers, Xiao said.
Meanwhile, the ministry will encourage traditional industries to embrace digitalization and green transformation, and accelerate the integration of cutting-edge information, communications technologies with manufacturing, the official said.
The ministry said earlier that China will build more than 600,000 5G base stations in 2021 so as to promote the construction and application of 5G networks in an orderly manner.
According to Xiao, China will also make more efforts to cut carbon emissions in the industrial sector, including strictly controlling new production capacities in heavy and chemical industries, and reduce crude steel output on a yearly basis.
China has put in place a green manufacturing system, with 2,121 green factories and 171 green industrial parks during the last five years.
Denis Depoux, global managing director at consultancy Roland Berger, said earlier that China has a sound industrial system, efficient infrastructure, leading technologies and a rich talent reserve, providing a good market for enterprises.
Yang Yuanqing, chairman of Lenovo, the world's largest personal computer maker, said China is now undergoing a critical stage of moving from a manufacturing powerhouse to a smart-manufacturing center, which will generate more opportunities.
Lenovo is deploying more resources to build up its prowess in artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, and to integrate these technologies to help its factories power ahead, Yang said.
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