President Xi Jinping has accused the United States of leading Western nations to suppress China's development which, he said, brought unprecedented challenges to the country's development.
"Western countries, led by the US, have implemented all-round containment and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to the country's development,” Xi said, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported quoting official media.
Besides the continuing trade war, the US has stepped up its crackdown against Chinese tech giants like Huawei. In its latest action, the US, besides the European Union, have banned the Chinese social media app TikTok from the phones used by officials to protect data of their phones.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session on Monday, Xi said that the external environment for the country's development had changed rapidly, and there was a significant rise in uncertainty and unpredictable factors.
He said in the future “the risks and challenges we face will only increase and become more severe”.
"In the face of profound and complex changes in the international and domestic environment, we must remain calm, maintain concentration, strive for progress while maintaining stability, take action, be united and dare to struggle," Xi said.
A key agenda for the legislative session is to provide a strategy to cut reliance on the US. As part of that plan, the central government proposed on Sunday to raise R&D spending by 2 per cent in 2023 to 328 billion yuan (USD 47 billion), the Post reported.
In a separate panel discussion on the sidelines of the NPC on Sunday, Xi reiterated the need to achieve “technological self-reliance and advancement”.
"In the face of fierce international competition, we must carve out new tracks for development, create new momentum and develop new strengths … All these rely on technology, fundamentally,” Xi said.
"We must deepen scientific and technological reform, cultivate an innovative culture, improve the evaluation system and incentive mechanism and create a good environment for talent to stand out and expand capability,” he said.
-With PTI Input