The middle-income trap is a widely disseminated concept, which means that a country cannot continue to improve after its per capita income reaches approximately US$12,000, and thus falls into the middle-income trap. Some countries in South America are indeed falling into this kind of dilemma, and the root cause of this phenomenon is that they have not mastered core technologies, and technological backwardness hinders their economic upgrading. This is called mid-tech trap.
China is also at a critical moment when it is trying to overcome the mid-technology trap to promote industrial upgrading and achieve national revitalization goals. Currently, China and the United States are engaged in fierce competition in the latest technological areas offered by AI and digital technology. To maintain its dominance in technology, the US has imposed sanctions and blockade on many Chinese high-tech companies. So far, about 800 Chinese technology companies have been included in the restricted “entity list”. On the other hand, due to “decoupling” and “de-risking” actions, China’s cutting-edge technology sectors such as semiconductor, AI and biomedicine have been seriously affected. Although China has become the world’s second largest economy, China has lagged behind developed countries in “0 to 1” basic technology research and development, which is a key factor affecting China’s industrial upgrading.
Overcoming the mid-technology trap is an inevitable step to achieve China’s economic modernization. Since World War II, developing countries, including China and India, have attempted to achieve their industrialization and industrial upgrading by importing advanced technologies from developed countries. But, once Western countries realized that emerging economies were approaching or even surpassing their position in technology, they began to take measures to prevent us from moving forward on the path of technological upgrading. However, science and technology belong to all mankind, and the creation of advanced technology cannot be separated from the joint contributions of all mankind. Along with developing core technological innovation capabilities from “0 to 1”, China will also continue to promote high-quality development of the economy as it moves towards higher technological levels.
Data for 2021 show that the added value of China’s manufacturing industry accounts for 29.79% of the world, which is close to the combined value of the US, Japan, Germany, South Korea and India. However, the technical level of Chinese manufacturing industry lags behind developed countries such as the US, Germany and Japan, with the production of some core technologies and parts relying on imports. America’s technology blockade has caused serious problems to Chinese companies. Under this circumstance, China should strengthen basic research while working hard to deal with the technological processes of advanced manufacturing. At present, funding for pure basic research in scientific and technological powers such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Japan accounts for 12% to 23% of their total domestic R&D investment, while in China the proportion is only 6%. As comprehensive national strength grows, China will also gradually increase its investment in basic scientific research.
For emerging economies, paying attention to the latest applied technologies and development of new productive power is of urgent practical importance. Taking the development of humanoid robots as an example, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently proposed that by 2025, China’s humanoid robot innovation system will be initially established, the entire machine product will reach the international advanced level. Will go. By 2027, China’s humanoid robot technology innovation capabilities will be greatly improved, and the comprehensive strength will reach the world’s advanced level. At the same time, China will strive to cultivate a large number of scientific and technological talents with independent thinking ability, creativity and imagination through the reform of the education system, so as to prepare talents to overcome the mid-technology trap.
(Courtesy, China Media Group, Beijing)