China has been emphasizing self-reliance since the U.S.-China trade war started, and the urgency of China’s desire for this appears to have grown stronger after witnessing Western countries imposing harsh sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The next day, on Feb. 25, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) media People's Daily published an editorial titled "Insist on Independence and Pioneering the Way Forward," advocating independence and self-reliance to ensure that the party will always win.
On March 18, another CCP media Guangming Daily published a lengthy editorial on "adhering to independence and autonomy," re-emphasizing the "necessity," "importance," and "urgency" of "adhering to independence and autonomy."
Sanctions on Russia Make CCP Panic"The way the United States has joined forces with its allies to deal with Russia is a bit like killing a chicken to warn a monkey," Mike Sun, a North American investment consultant and China expert, told The Epoch Times. He said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine incurs all-round sanctions from the United States and its allies, which makes the CCP panic.
According to the statistics of Castellum.AI, an international sanctions tracking platform, as of April 29, Russia has incurred 10,128 sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, setting a record as the most severely sanctioned country. The most severe sanctions include the freezing of Russian dollar assets, the expulsion of some banks from the SWIFT system, and sanctions on Russian oligarchs and their families.
U.S.-China Decoupling Forces the CCP to Become Self-ReliantJida, an American current affairs commentator and China expert, told The Epoch Times, "Although the United States and its allies are fully supporting Ukraine against Russia, their ultimate goal is to weaken Russia's power and concentrate its strength against the CCP."
Michael Sun, Director of the Cultural Centre affiliated with the Overseas Community Affairs Council in Toronto, said, "In fact, the United States has already launched a plan to fully decouple from the CCP, including high-tech, finance, and exports. Of course, the CCP is also preparing for decoupling. Take grain as an example. The CCP has been hoarding grain, and Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized that the Chinese people's rice bowl must be firmly held in their own hands, and it is necessary to ensure that the bowl is mainly filled with Chinese food."
High tech is one of the CCP’s weakest areas, especially semiconductor technology. For national security reasons, the U.S. government has placed more than 1,000 Chinese-related entities on the sanctions list, including a large number of high-tech companies such as Huawei and ZTE, as well as many CCP central enterprises, in order to prevent the CCP from stealing key U.S. technologies.
Guo Nianshun, a lecturer at Capital University of Economics and Business and a Ph.D. from Peking University, wrote in an article in October last year that the interruption of U.S. technology supply has obviously caused damage to key Chinese companies and industries; Huawei and China's high-tech were "strangled" by the United States, highlighting the urgency of China's self-produced semiconductor industry to expand production capacity and high-end R&D.
The CCP is Often Forced To Be Self-ReliantThe global Communist Party started with a group of rogue proletarians in the Paris Commune uprising in 1871, and the CCP, which stole politics in 1949, also started from "dire poverty and backwardness." Lu Xiang, a scholar of the Chinese Communist Party and a researcher of the American Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, concluded in September 2018 that China's economic development has gone through four stages.
The first stage was to learn from the former Soviet Union in an all-round way; the second stage, after the breakdown of Sino-Soviet relations, was to be forced into self-reliance; the third stage, after the "reform and opening up" in 1978, was the use of foreign capital to introduce and digest foreign advanced technology and equipment; the fourth stage, was the most difficult stage of independent innovation and industrial optimization and upgrading.
Lu said that the biggest obstacle to the rise of China is the United States, because the United States is the world's most powerful country. He said this after the U.S.-China trade war launched by former U.S. President Trump to contain the CCP.
On March 22, 2018, Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on about $60 billion worth of Chinese imports to punish China for "theft of American intellectual property and trade secrets" and that the United States would restrict China's access to American technology.
Self-Reliance Will Further Isolate the CCPIn May 2020, the CCP was forced to roll out a “dual circulation” strategy against the backdrop of the United States intensifying efforts to contain China’s technology industry. Xi said, the Chinese people need to spend more, and domestic manufacturers need to innovate more, to reduce reliance on a fickle foreign economy.
In March 2021, the CCP launched the "14th Five-Year Plan," which includes increasing R&D investment by 7 percent each year over the next five years to achieve scientific and technological self-reliance.
The South China Morning Post reported on March 6 that self-reliance has been the top priority of the Chinese government this year, especially in the face of trade headwinds and geopolitical complexities in an international context that has put more emphasis on self-sufficiency among its economic priorities.
But Professor Simon warned that "The imperatives motivating Chinese leaders toward greater technological self-reliance have the potential to drive China further outside of the mainstream of the global economy."