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  • A man talks on his mobile phone beside Huawei's billboard featuring 5G technology in Beijing, China, Sept. 26, 2018.

    A man talks on his mobile phone beside Huawei's billboard featuring 5G technology in Beijing, China, Sept. 26, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 May 2019

Chinese companies are set to continue advancing their own technologies and taking advantage of a broad domestic market.

A recent tour by Chinese President Xi Jinping across southern China was an indicator of how the Asian leader will fight against President Donald Trump's trade war, namely, China is readying to replace U.S. technology with its own.

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"The most important thing now is to focus on our own (products), to promote independent innovation capabilities in key areas and to accelerate the development of our own intellectual property-related technology," said Xi Tuesday in Nanchang, the cultural, economic and scientific center of Jiangxi Province.

Xi has said his country will go through a "technological transition," comparing it to the 1934 Chinese Long March.

"China is on a new Long March. The country now depends on the Party and the people's strong will and firm faith to secure new victories," said Xi in Ganzhou, the city where the communist march began.

His statements occur when the Trump administration intensified its trade war on the country, putting Huawei on a blacklist of foreign technology companies that will be denied access to U.S. technologies and consumers. This decision may be the first scenario for a long-lasting tech cold war.

"Companies like Huawei will take some time to get technology and register cutting-edge patents ... but Huawei has great advantages to survive: the huge Chinese domestic market and government subsidies," said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Director of the Political Science Department at the Hong Kong Baptist University.

The scholar also explained that the so-called "tech cold war" will affect the global economy due to the high degree of interdependence between the United States and China.

"Uncoupling the most strategic sectors of the U.S. and Western economies from those of China is already inevitable. ... [However] the dispute will not affect all trade between China and the West."

The tech cold war concept appeared Thursday in Chinese media editorials in which the U.S. is accused of being more concerned about who will dominate technology than global economic growth.

"Google will only hurt itself by breaking with Huawei, a leading company which has the potential to revolutionize global economy with 5G," the China Daily said. 

Google announced this week it would not allow Huawei users to update their Android phone systems in a matter of 90 days. According to the China Daily, the country's prospertity depends upon becoming a great technological power and enhancing its domestic consumption, saying though "the U.S. is determined to prevent this from happening at any price, including [trade-related] discriminatory practices."

On Thursday, China's Foreign Affairs Minister spokesman Lu Kang criticized Washington in a serious manner.

"U.S. uses its national powers to oppress Chinese technology. Obviously, this does not help to create a proper atmosphere for resuming trade negotiations."

"We're used to the distinction between hard and soft power, but what's being used here is a kind of 'sharp power' where the U.S., in particular, is trying to bully or coerce other countries to follow their particular line on something like technology," the London School of Economics Co-director, Iain Begg told Reuters.

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