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China will boost up quantum computing, AI in tech self-sufficiency drive

An AI (Artificial Intelligence) sign is shown during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China July 6, 2023.

BEIJING, March 5 (mod1s) - China will devise strategies to promote new sectors like quantum computing and continue working to attain self-sufficiency in technology, a government work report stated. 

It will also boost up efforts in big data and artificial intelligence (AI) and wants to create a number of large scientific and technology programs to satisfy key strategic and industrial development objectives, the study reveals.

"We will fully leverage the strengths of the new system for mobilizing resources nationwide to raise China's capacity for innovation across the board." it stated. 

Beijing has in recent years made technical self sufficiency a priority, struck hard by trade conflicts with the United States which has banned supplies of semiconductors and certain other components to China. 

It has declared it intends to increase national security and economic resilience by cultivating indigenous innovation skills and lowering dependency on foreign suppliers, and has increasingly stressed the role of the government in allocating resources to assist accomplish this objective.

This year's focus on new technologies like AI is not unexpected, said Alfredo Montufar-Helu, Beijing-based director of the China Center at the Conference Board. 

It is in keeping with last year’s Central Economic Work Conference, where strengthening self-reliance and strength in technology and enhancing the resilience and security level of supply chains were designated as major priority for the government’s work in 2024 and beyond, he noted.

Since last year, the governing Communist party has been handed greater influence in setting tech-related regulations, part of a wider government reorganization. 

China formed a new technology commission under the Communist party's supervision, making the ministry of science and technology subject to the commission, essentially shifting some of the ministry's former functions. 

"I think the government views this centralization as lowering coordination costs and increasing the efficacy of targeting key tech development." stated Doug Fuller, a researcher with Copenhagen Business School.

"However, the flow of necessary information to enact effective policies might dwindle with centralization and thus will probably exacerbate the existing problem of information asymmetries between central ministries and other actors." 

China will also cultivate more first-class scientists and innovation teams and strengthen systems for identifying and nurturing top-tier innovators, the study added.


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