Xi Jinping stresses China needs independent innovation as world changes

People walk past a screen showing news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping at a shopping area in Beijing on July 31, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China must "vigorously enhance the capability to conduct innovation independently," Chinese President Xi Jinping told a meeting of experts in Beijing, in the latest emphasis on using technological self-reliance to counter a more hostile external environment.

"The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, which are being accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic," Mr Xi said at a symposium on economic and social work on Monday (Aug 24), calling for "breakthroughs in key and core technologies as soon as possible."

The president reiterated the need to develop the so-called "dual-circulation" economic model, which positions the domestic market as the mainstay of the economy.

However, Mr Xi stressed that this is not about "isolated domestic circulation," but rather an open structure that will involve greater connection with the global system.

China should actively cooperate with "all nations, regions and enterprises who are willing to work with us, including US states, local areas and companies," the president said.

Separately, Sing Tao Daily reported Monday that Mr Xi may visit the innovation hub of Shenzhen in September to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the special economic zone bordering Hong Kong.

If it happens, the visit would be closely watched for any indication on China's stance on economic opening up and also relations with the US, which have continued to worsen due to the coronavirus and other issues including technology and Hong Kong.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.