Fortress China: Xi's plan for economic independence

Beijing wants to become less dependent on the West – and especially on its technology. But how realistic is this self-sufficiency goal in a connected world?

A robotic arm for surgery peeling quail eggs at the World Robot Conference in Beijing last month. PHOTO: AFP
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Tianjin Saixiang's "nanoknife" may be a form of precision surgery, but it is indicative of a broad trend that is reshaping China's economic relationship with the rest of the world.

Made by a little-known Chinese company, it is designed to target prostate cancer without invasive surgery. Tianjin Saixiang was given the official imprimatur of "little giant" in 2020, meaning it qualifies for preferential treatment in return for helping China to climb the technology ladder.

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