China tries to reassure foreign companies over industry plan

In this Oct. 21, 2016 photo, a Chinese woman demonstrates the ability of Baxter, an industrial robot from U.S. company Rethink Robotics, to follow her hand movements during the World Robot Conference in Beijing. China's industry minister has defended a manufacturing development plan and rejected complaints foreign makers of electric cars and other goods might be pressured to hand over technology or forced out of promising markets. Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, tried Saturday, March 11, 2017 to reassure foreign companies that the "Made in China 2025" plan treats all companies equally. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China's industry minister has defended a manufacturing development plan and rejected complaints foreign makers of electric cars and other goods might be pressured to hand over technology or forced out of promising markets

BEIJING — China's industry minister on Saturday defended a manufacturing development plan and rejected complaints foreign makers of electric cars and other goods might be pressured to hand over technology or forced out of promising markets.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, tried to reassure foreign companies that the "Made in China 2025" industry plan treats all companies equally.

"The strategy and its related policies are applicable to all businesses in China, be them domestic or foreign," Miao told a briefing.

Miao was responding to a report by the European Union Chamber of Commerce earlier this week that said China is violating its free-trade pledges by inducing foreign firms to give up encryption and other technology to potential Chinese competitors.

Technology is a growing flashpoint in trade tensions with Washington and Europe, which worry their competitive edge is eroding as Beijing buys or develops skills in semiconductors, renewable energy and other fields. China has faced mounting complaints the government improperly shields its fledgling developers of robotics, software and other technology from competition.

The plan calls for China to be able to supply its own high-tech components by 2020 and materials by 2025 in 10 industries from information technology and aerospace to pharmaceuticals. A broad outline was issued in 2015 and officials have been gradually releasing details.

Miao said targets for domestic brands' share of the market in some sectors should be seen as forecasts rather than mandatory. "When we were drawing up the plan, we did not deliberately pursue these targets," Miao said.

The European chamber noted that China's strategy says two of the top 10 global brands in electric cars should be Chinese by 2025. It said that rules out joint ventures created by foreign companies with Chinese partners.

The chamber called the strategy "a large-scale import substitution plan aimed at nationalizing key industries, or at least severely curtailing the position of foreign business in them."

In an apparent response to such criticism, Premier Li Keqiang promised in a speech at the opening of China's annual legislative sessions a week ago that foreign companies would receive "equal treatment" under the manufacturing plan.

Peaple also read these

China affirms climate pledge after Trump rolls...

Mar 29, 2017

China's government says it will stick to its promises to curb carbon emissions after President...

Recent developments surrounding the South China...

Apr 10, 2017

The Pentagon says A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group is departing the South China Sea to...

Foreign doctors deem ill Chinese Nobel laureate...

Jul 9, 2017

Two foreign specialists who visited Liu Xiaobo say the cancer-stricken Nobel Peace Prize laureate...

The Latest: US wants Liu to be able to choose...

Jul 13, 2017

U.S. officials want Chinese authorities to allow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and his...

China criticizes British freedom of navigation...

Jul 31, 2017

China has criticized plans by Britain to send its new aircraft carriers on freedom of navigation...

Sign up now!