Delay of “Made in China 2025”: Is China Succumbing to US Pressure?

trade war
Image: ANNECORDON/iStock

China is considering plans to delay some of the targets in its "Made in China 2025" plan to become a global technology leader, according to anonymous sources cited in a Bloomberg report.

While Beijing hasn’t any final decision on changing its masterplan, the sources quoted said the country might delay part of the plan by a decade to 2035 in order to stop the escalation of the trade war with the US.

This industrial master plan, seeking to make the country the world’s premier developer of robotics, AI, e-commerce and the platforms required to operate them, is seen as a threat to the US’s leading status in technology and is the root cause of the trade war between the two countries.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced a three-year action plan for developing AI late last year. Key areas include intelligent vehicles, service robots, drones, medical image aided diagnosis systems, video and image identification systems, voice interaction systems, translation systems, smart home products, intelligent sensors, neural network chips, and open source platforms.

China has also made it clear that it aims to create a domestic AI market of RMB 1 trillion ($150 billion) by 2020 and become a world-leading AI center by 2030.

While none of the two countries mentioned if this master plan is part of the negotiation when they announced a 90-day timeout earlier this month, US officials signaled on Wednesday that China will have to do more to end the standoff.

Both Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass called on China to agree on timelines, deadlines and enforceable actions to balance trade and open their markets to foreign companies.

Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers was cited as saying that both countries are making a lot of positive progress though they still have to wait and see where it’ll end up.

Meanwhile China plans to implement a huge cut on duties on American cars from 40% to 15% and resume purchases of soybeans from the US soon, while reiterating initiatives to put additional efforts into intellectual property protection.

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