High-end manufacturing is not leaving China for US: economist

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By Xing Xue from People's Daily

The high-end manufacturing is not leaving China, a renowned Chinese economist said in a contributed article published on People's Daily Overseas Edition, refuting the claims that high-end manufacturing is flowing back to the US.

The comments came after the "Buy American Hire American" pledge of the new US administration recently fueled the assertion that high-end manufacturing is flowing back to the US from China.

Hu Angang, also Director of Center for China Studies of Tsinghua University, pointed out that as the largest export country of manufactured goods, especially high-tech products, China has also set up a manufacturing system with the most complete product line and supporting production facilities.

China's share in global manufacturing market is now increasing, he said, explaining that its high-tech export percentage in the world has grown to 19.5 percent in 2015 from 3.0 percent in 2000, whereas the percentage of the US dropped from 16.8 percent to 9.5 percent during the same period.

A New York Times piece pointed out that whether in terms of labor structure or government investment, the US is not ready for the reflux of the manufacturing industry. Against the background of shortage in technical workers and rising labor cost, the world is now watching if US enterprises may conduct another round of global allocation.

So far, China has completed the "1+X" framework of the Made in 2025 strategy. Hu believes such move indicates that the top level design of the strategy has been basically finished.

"It is leading the general direction of China's manufacturing industry, which is to develop from made in China to created in China, from speed-oriented to quality-centered, from product-focused to brand-concentrated, from polluted and energy-consumed industries to green industries, and from Chinese enterprises to transnational and even global industries," the economist added.

Hu, in the article, also urged China's manufacturing industry to improve its innovation capacity at first.

Based on the concepts of "intelligent manufacturing " and "Internet plus", the industry should advance structural upgrade and competiveness improvement to seize a new highland in the world, he suggested.

Furthermore, along with the "Belt and Road" construction, China's manufacturing industry should also place equal emphasis on "going global" and "bringing in" , he advised, adding that the supply of high-level talents should be increased to boost the quality of the industry.

Pic:

Digital technology has been widely applied by Chinese factories. Picture is an intelligent workshop of SANY Heavy Industry, known as the "intelligent factory" of China in Changsha, Hunan province. (Photo from the official website of SANY Heavy Industry.)

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