Thursday February 27, 2020


March 13, 2015

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is going to enter a challenging year for China, with economic growth slowing to 7%, public dissatisfaction with the Communist Party on the rise due to the rampant corruption, and increasing discontent over severe air pollution.  Aiming to spur further growth and innovation, the Premier’s first government work report during the opening meeting of the Third Session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) introduced new concepts such as the “Made in China 2025” strategy and “chuangke—creator or entrepreneur.

The top legislative body has 2,964 deputies, representing China’s 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions as well as Hong Kong, Macao, and the military. Unprecedented attention has been paid to an annual economic growth target cut to “around 7%”—the lowest in 11 years and down from last year’s target of 7.5%.

With his doctoral dissertation winning the Sun Yefang Prize, China’s highest prize in economics, Premiere Li is well-placed to further China’s economic transition through the “Made in China 2025” strategy to promote innovation and smart technologies such as Big Data, cloud computing, mobility, and the Industrial Internet to replace the increasingly outdated model of cheap labor-driven manufacturing. Inspired by Germany’s “Industry 4.0” strategy during his trip to Berlin last year, Premier Li is ready to give more freedom to private and public corporations while the government plays a supporting role. Thus, China will upgrade its manufacturing industry with the strong individualization of products with highly flexible production, extensive integration of customers and business partners, value-added processes, and linking production and high-quality services in so-called hybrid products.

In support of the “Made in China 2025” strategy, Premier Li has placed his confidence in young chuangke (创客, makers or creators) who have been marked as paradigms of entrepreneurial spirit. In Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley in Beijing, more and more cafés have opened to offer collaborative spaces where local networks and communities help young chuangke learn and share their ideas. Investors and experienced professionals meet young chuangke and provide startup funds and advice so bold and creative ideas may flourish.

Technological advancement can be seen as an engine to growth. However, innovative ideas don’t necessarily create job opportunities and significant economic growth within its birthplaces. With Li Keqiang’s new vision for China with his “Made in China 2025” and chuangke strategies, China is ready to transform itself from a manufacturer of quantity to one of quality. To accomplish such an ambition, the government must evaluate whether the Silicon Valley model, if there is one, can generate innovation eco-system in China.

For more information on this topic, consult the following sources:

The Wall Street Journal“China NPC 2015: The Reports”

The DiplomatChina’s 2015 NPC Session: The Case of the Missing Presidents

South China Morning Post“Chinese economy faces tough year ahead, Li Keqiang tells assembly”

Al JazeeraChina premier warns on growth in opening speech to NPC

XinhuaChina sticks to prudent monetary policy: central bank governor

The State Council of the People’s Republic of China “Highlights of government work report”

The EconomistKeqiang ker-ching”

The Wall Street JournalHow Real Is China’s Growth?”

Xinhua “China issues opinions to encourage mass entrepreneurship, innovation”

Xinhua “Li hails ‘makers’ as driver to restructure industry”

China Daily“中国制造2025 (zhongguo zhizao 2025): Made in China 2025”





Compiled and edited by Stella Ran Zheng