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Regulator Clarifies 'Made in China 2025' Plan After EU Group Criticism

Chinese regulator on March 11 offered detailed clarifications on the "Made in China 2025" plan, stressing equal treatment for domestic and foreign companies after a European business group criticized the strategy for discrimination against foreign firms. 

"The strategy and its related policies are applicable to all businesses in China, be them domestic or foreign," Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

The remarks came after a lengthy report from the European Union Chamber of Commerce claimed that China's support for hi-tech manufacturing would lead to worsening treatment of foreign companies, while allowing government-subsidized homegrown players to compete unfairly.

The report said foreign suppliers of electric cars and other goods are under pressure to turn over technology to China.

Miao refuted the accusation, saying entry policies in sectors such as new energy vehicles are not only targeting foreign firms, but domestic businesses alike.

The intention of such policies is to prevent some businesses to cheat on government subsidies, instead of forcing foreign firms to transfer technology to China, Miao explained.

As for the target set for the market share of domestic brands in some sectors, Miao said the government is not "deliberately seeking" such goals when drafting the plan.

The targets are of predictive nature, not mandatory, Miao added, reiterating the decisive role of market and the guiding role of government during the plan's implementation.

The ultimate aim of the "Made in China 2025" plan is to satisfy domestic demand for high-end equipment and industrial goods as Western countries still impose export bans on some of the products to China, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2017)

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