A race for global supremacy in the tech sector is at the centre of the fraught trade war negotiations between the United States and China. The United States has long been the world’s high-tech champion, although China has made major strides and even taken the lead in some sectors.
However, President Donald Trump accuses Beijing of snatching American technological know-how, a key sticking point in negotiations that entered a crucial round in Washington on Thursday and Friday.
The Communist Party has touted a programme named “Made in China 2025” which aims to turn the Asian giant into a powerhouse of new technologies, from aerospace and telecommunications to robotics, biotechnology and electric vehicles.
Beijing is aiming for technological self-sufficiency on 70% of key components and materials by 2025.
The plan has alarmed Washington which fears losing a valuable market and has complicated the trade talks between China and the US.While Premier Li Keqiang did not mention Made in China 2025 in his speech to the annual parliament in March, experts doubt that Beijing will drop this strategic plan.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei has made great progress in its effort to become the global leader in next-generation 5G wireless technology. But Washington considers the company founded by former army engineer Ren Zhengfei to be a security risk and has urged allies to shun its equipment over fears it could serve as a Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence services.
The US government has banned all federal agencies from acquiring Huawei equipment. Washington has accused Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou of circumventing sanctions against Iran, and has applied for her extradition from Canada where she is currently free on bail.