China: a strong manufacturing and cyberspace country
--Fourth part of the "China in the past decade" series
By Mr Li Bijian, Consul General of China in Karachi
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), major achievements have been made in the development of China's industrialization and IT application, the advancement of new industrialization has been accelerated, the industrial system has been improved, the industrial chain has become more complete, and the overall strength, quality and efficiency of industries as well as their innovation, competitiveness and resilience have been significantly enhanced. China has achieved a historic leap from a major manufacturing country and a major cyberspace country to a strong manufacturing country and a strong cyberspace country, laying a solid foundation for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects.
Over the past decade, China has made great efforts to strengthen, improve and expand the manufacturing sector. The overall strength of the sector and its international influence have been greatly bolstered. From 2012 to 2021, the added value of industries increased from 20.9 trillion yuan to 37.3 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 6.3%. The added value of the manufacturing sector increased from 16.98 trillion yuan to 31.4 trillion yuan, with its share of the global total rising from around 20% to nearly 30%. China's output of more than 40% of the 500 main industrial products ranks first in the world. China has 41 major industrial categories, 207 intermediate industrial categories and 666 small industrial categories, with its strength in having a complete industrial system further consolidated, and the resilience and competitiveness of its industrial and supply chains constantly improved, effectively enhancing the economy's ability to cope with external shocks. The development of the manufacturing sector has greatly boosted the people's sense of gain. Intelligent and energy-efficient home appliances have been popularized across the country, and cars have quickly entered the homes of ordinary people. The number of vehicles per 1,000 people has increased from 89 in 2012 to 208 in 2021. As opening-up and cooperation have been deepened, China's share of the trade in manufactured intermediate products now accounts for around 20% of the global total. Since the pandemic began, China has provided a large number of vaccines and medical supplies to the international community, strongly supporting the global fight against the pandemic, as well as economic recovery and development.
Over the past decade, China has worked hard to improve the quality of the supply system, and the industrial structure has been further optimized. Emerging industries have been developing at a faster pace. Products including service robots and smart wearable devices have registered strong growth, the production and sales of new-energy vehicles have topped the world for seven consecutive years, and the output value of the new materials industry has doubled. The transformation and upgrading of traditional industries have been accelerated, and progress has been made across the board in digital and green transformation. Intelligent manufacturing in some sectors is at an advanced international level. The high-tech manufacturing industry and equipment manufacturing industry accounted for 15.1% and 32.4% of the added value of industries above designated size in 2021, up from 9.4% and 28% in 2012, respectively. Regional development priorities have been continuously refined, the leading role of key regions has been boosted, and a large number of advanced manufacturing clusters have been formed in such fields as electronic information and rail transit.
Over the past decade, China has focused on implementing the strategy of innovation-driven development, with significant progress having been made regarding innovation in key areas. A large number of major landmark innovation achievements have led China's manufacturing industry to new heights, including the Fendouzhe (Striver) deep-sea manned submersible diving to a depth of more than 10,000 meters, the C919 large passenger aircraft being granted airworthiness certificates and delivered, the Chang'e lunar probes, the Zhurong Mars rover, the Xihe solar exploration satellite, the construction of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System global network, the successful development of unmanned agricultural electric tractors, the clinical application of orthopedic surgical robots in hospitals, the first five-axis processing machine of industrial and mining enterprises, the successful development of 8.8-meter super-large intelligent mining equipment, and the operation of million-kilowatt generating units in Baihetan Hydropower Station.
Over the past decade, China has taken stronger steps to foster high-quality enterprises, and the strength and competitiveness of manufacturing enterprises have been remarkably enhanced. A large number of leading enterprises have stood out. Seventy-three industrial enterprises have been listed among the world's top 500 companies, and the assets of industrial enterprises above designated size have doubled. More than 40,000 specialized and sophisticated small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) producing new and unique products, 4,762 "little giants" (China's top novel SMEs that engage in manufacturing, specialize in niche markets and boast cutting-edge technologies), and 848 "champion manufacturing businesses" (companies with world-class strength in niche markets) have been cultivated. Enterprises have continued to strengthen innovation, and total investment in research and development (R&D) made by industrial businesses above designated size have multiplied. Sales of new products have increased from 11.9% to 22.4% of business revenue. More than 570 industrial enterprises have made the list of the 2,500 companies that have invested the largest sums in R&D worldwide.
Over the past decade, China has improved the capacity to support social and economic development, and the information and communication technology (ICT) sector has seen leapfrog development. China has built the world's largest internet infrastructure with advanced technology, and the access bandwidth of the optical fiber networks has registered exponential growth from a transmission speed of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) and 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. China has also made great strides in developing its mobile network by making breakthroughs in 3G, keeping pace with the rest of the world in 4G, and securing a leading position in 5G. All administrative villages across the country now have access to broadband internet, which is a historic achievement and greatly contributes to completing all poverty eradication targets and tasks. The internet has played a bigger part in both the consumption and production sector. 5G networks, industrial internet, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) have been further integrated with the manufacturing industry, which continues to expedite the digitalization of industries and develop the digital sector. The digital economy has seen robust growth momentum.
Standing at a new starting point, under the stronger leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)，China will speed up the pace in manufacturing and cyberspace. People of China will make new and greater contributions toward building a modern socialist country in all respects.