Mar 08, 2021 07:28 PM

China Is 30 Years Away From Being a Manufacturing Powerhouse, Minister Says

What’s new: China will need another 30 years to become a true manufacturing powerhouse, according to Miao Wei, chief of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Despite its reputation as a major manufacturer, China’s actual capabilities are relatively weak, said Miao, who is also vice chairman of the economic committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s (CPPCC) National Committee.

Miao said the major bottleneck holding back China is its reliance on other countries for many key components used by its manufacturers, especially high-tech components like microchips.

What’s the background: Miao made his comments on the sidelines of the annual “Two Sessions,” which includes meetings of the country’s national legislature and the CPPCC, which is its top political advisory body.

China’s reliance on others for core high-tech goods has come into focus over the last two years after former U.S. President Donald Trump restricted some Chinese companies’ access to many of those goods. Those restrictions brought some companies like homegrown telecom champion Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to their knees, spotlighting a major weak link in the nation’s manufacturing complex.

A major focus area this year has been Beijing’s newest five-year plan that will run from this year to 2025, in which building up the country’s high-tech manufacturing capabilities will be a major priority.

Related: Zhang Weiying: What China Needs to Do to Become a Real Manufacturing Power

Read more about Caixin's coverage of China's Two Sessions 2021.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

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