China’s State Council has established a new cabinet-level entity, the National Science and Technology Leading Group responsible for national technological developments planning and strategy, reported by Caixin Global on August 10. This new entity is to replace the old National Technology and Education Leadership Group, with a stronger emphasis on the technology side, as shown in the name of the new entity. All 14 members of the group are top policymakers, but the Premier Li Keqian will lead the group himself, with the Vice President Liu He as the deputy.
The birth of this new group demonstrates China’s determination in enhancing its own research and development capacity and moving up from being a manufacturer in the international supply chain. In addition, the ongoing trade tension with US and tightening rules for Chinese overseas investments make it an urgent need for China to expand its own ability to advance with technology. For example, earlier this year US imposed a ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE [0763:HK] on buying parts from US suppliers served as an alarm for the Chinese chip industry to advance their own technology and production.