Xi Rallies China Behind Shenzhen as Tech Fight Heats Up

Xi Rallies China Behind Shenzhen as Tech Fight Heats Up

President Xi Jinping vowed to press ahead with plans to gain the global lead in technology and other strategic industries, despite expanding efforts from the U.S. and its allies to check China’s rise.

The Chinese president reaffirmed his commitment to “opening up and reform” as a strategy for gaining economic advantage in a 50-minute speech Wednesday to mark the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen’s establishment as a special economic zone. With hundreds of local officials and executives present including Huawei Technologies Co. founder Ren Zhengfei, Xi called for the making of the southern metropolis into a “model city for a great, modern socialist country.”

“We need to unswervingly implement an innovation-driven development strategy to foster new engines and new trends, so as to build a technological and industrial innovation high-ground with global influence,” Xi said, in remarks that didn’t mention China’s disputes with the U.S. and made only passing reference to “many unprecedented challenges” from abroad.