China’s Xi Jinping slams tech restrictions, urges G20 members to be inclusive
- Chinese president says building ‘a small yard with high fences’ is not in anyone’s interests
- Remarks come as US looks to further tighten tech restrictions on China
Xi’s remarks – amid an escalating US-China tech war – came during a Wednesday session at the G20 summit in Indonesia.
During a discussion about transformation to digital economies, Xi rejected restrictions on technological cooperation in the expanding global digital economy, saying multilateralism and international cooperation must continue.
He urged nations to work together to close gaps among countries using digital economies and to help developing countries and vulnerable groups better integrate into the digital world.
Xi also encouraged participation in the “G20 Action Plan on Digital Innovation and Cooperation”, promoting innovation for wider use of digital technology. China proposed the plan during the G20 summit it hosted in Hangzhou in 2016, the first time the topic had made it onto a G20 agenda.
Xi said China was ready to continue cooperating with G20 members to build a “global digital economic paradigm” that would benefit all countries.
In a statement after Monday’s meeting with US President Joe Biden, Xi cautioned that starting a tech war and pushing for decoupling ran “counter to the principles of the market economy” and was in “no one’s interests”.
China has the world’s largest e-commerce market and is the world’s second-largest digital economy following the US, amounting to 45.5 trillion yuan (US$6.43 trillion) in 2021, accounting for 39.8 per cent of its GDP, according to China’s internet development report released during the China-sponsored World Internet Conference in Wuzhen last week.
China’s digital economy is a core part of its overall economic development objectives. The country’s digital economy development plan for the 14th five-year plan, released earlier this year, called for further digital integration with the real economy, and for faster digital transformation of industries.
Xi delivered the remarks as he wrapped up his G20 agenda. He was expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand.