China’s socialist modernization pioneer envisions technological breakthroughs and financial openness

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Aerial photo taken on June 21, 2018 shows a morning view of the Lujiazui area of ​​Pudong in Shanghai, east China. Photo: Xinhua

The new Pudong area in Shanghai will lead China’s growing push for breakthroughs in key technologies such as basic software and integrated circuits, as the central government prepares to mold the area into a pioneer area of ​​the socialist modernization in the years to come, officials said Tuesday during a press conference in Beijing.

As a crucial part of China’s overarching goal of becoming a modern socialist power by 2050, the Pudong New Area will also become a pioneering area for systemic reforms ranging from offshore yuan transactions to registration and clearance. vessel management, officials noted, adding that East Pudong is also expected to play a leading role in China’s national strategies, including the strategy of opening up and developing dual traffic.

At the press conference, officials explained the steps Pudong plans to take to become a pioneer zone of socialist modernization, a task proposed in a directive issued jointly by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Council. of State Affairs, cabinet, Thursday.

According to the directive, Pudong will comprehensively establish a modernized economy and build modern urban districts and governance by 2035, while the region will become the “shining pearl” of a great modern socialist country which is very attractive, creative, competitive and influential internationally by 2050.

As a pioneer of China’s social and economic development goals over the next three decades or so, Pudong’s policy measures and strategic directions also provide a rare window into China’s broad nation-wide efforts to build a modern socialist power by 2050.

One of the tasks that Pudong will take on by becoming a pioneer of socialist modernization is to become a “national team” and the spearhead for making breakthroughs in basic technologies, said Cong Liang, senior official of the National Commission. development and reform at the conference.

He specifically mentioned that the zone will target cutting-edge high-tech fields such as brain science and quantum science, as well as solving major technological bottlenecks such as high-end integrated circuit components and basic software.

Officials also pointed out some specific plans Pudong would follow to push technological progress. For example, the region will build a batch of engineering technology research centers and accelerate the construction of national laboratories. The zone will also lead to the creation by the country of new generation artificial intelligence experimental zones.

Pudong’s pioneering role in promoting technological research comes as China struggles to shake off its reliance on foreign key technologies, after the United States blocked supplies to Chinese technology companies.

Shi Jianxun, professor of economics at the School of Economics and Management at Tongji University in Shanghai, said Pudong has the most comprehensive design, research and production base for chip manufacturing in China. .

“Pudong’s advantages in talent pools, software and hardware industries connected to the chip business, as well as the fact that it is well connected with international markets, will become the basis for Pudong to be modeled in a domain. key to China’s technological breakthroughs, ”Shi told the Global Times.

Besides technology, officials also said that Pudong will focus on providing “high-level mechanisms”, closely monitoring the deepening of reforms in key areas.

During the press conference, financial reform was frequently mentioned. For example, Wang Xin, director of the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China, said the central bank will support Shanghai to experiment with free use of the yuan. Officials will also explore the possibility of free capital flows and transactions in Shanghai’s Lingang Special Zone, a new hub for overseas manufacturing giants like Tesla.

Shi said that under such reforms, Yuan denominated funds from Pudong or Lingang can invest directly in Hong Kong or overseas markets, while offshore yuan can enter Pudong freely.

Xi Junyang, professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times that since Pudong is home to a group of financial institutions and exchanges, if the Chinese government decides to undertake financial reforms in the future, it is likely that these reforms will be tested first in Pudong.

Such reforms could include financial derivative transactions on carbon as well as the southern branch of the bond connection mechanism between mainland China and Hong Kong, which he says will first be applied to the Pudong interbank market. But he stressed that it could still be a long time before China undertakes bold reforms in this area.


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