China targets innovation in tech with new 'Internet Plus' policy

During his speech at the start of the annual full session of Parliament, Premier Li Keqiang announced China’s new economic and technology policy called Internet Plus, which has a focus on technology and space.

This vision announced on 5 March entails China focusing on advanced industries such as robotics, aviation equipment, ocean engineering equipment, high-tech ships, satellites and space exploration as well as moving into semiconductors, and next generation chip materials, with the goal being to build China’s dominance in the tech industry.

Reuters reported that under the policy, China will augment its R&D spending to 2.5 per cent of GPD (gross domestic product) for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020, compared to 2.1 per cent of the GDP budget for 2010-2015.

The Internet Plus draft policy also stated that China will further increase its "Internet control capabilities" supporting a multilateral, democratic and transparent international "Internet governance system", with higher cyberspace monitoring and a network security review system. "China will strengthen the struggle against enemies in online sovereign space and increase control of online public sentiment. It will also perfect cyber security laws and legislation," said the draft policy.

However the draft policy also looks to include the government, healthcare and the education sector in order to leveraging innovations in technology to boost its slowing economy. As Premier Li Keqiang said, China sees that "Innovation is the primary driving force for the country's development."

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