GUANGZHOU－As China waves goodbye to its phase of rapid growth to embrace high-quality development, Chinese producers are aiming to break new technological frontiers in the pursuit of quality.
A Guangzhou heavy machinery company, under Dongfang Electric Corporation, recently declared success in the hydrostatic test of a nuclear power equipment product, which is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project.
The largest international scientific cooperation project in the world, the ITER is a France-based international nuclear fusion research and engineering project exploring commercial uses of fusion power.
It is jointly funded by China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States. China is responsible for producing 12 kinds of products for the project.
The successful test means that China is now a world leader in producing the project’s shielding and heat-exchange equipment, according to the company.
“Nuclear fusion technology is a key energy solution for the world,” said Zeng Xianmao, chairman and general manager of the company.
China’s research and manufacturing capacity in this area is a reflection of the transformation from “Made in China” to “Created in China”.
“High-quality development is the fundamental requirement for determining the development path, making economic policies, and conducting macroeconomic regulation at present and in the period to come,” according to a statement released after the Central Economic Work Conference, which concluded on Dec 20.
Experts say, as a major driver for global economic growth, China’s emphasis on high-quality development will not only fuel its own economy, but also contribute to the healthy and sustainable development of the world economy.
For China’s industrial circle, high-quality development can only be achieved by seeking new growth areas through supply-side reform.
Lian Ping, chief economist of the Bank of Communications, said traditional growth models were reaching their limit.
Since the domestic supply cannot satisfy the upgraded consumption demand, there is a growing trend for consumers to turn to overseas markets.
“China’s efforts in cutting overcapacity will help stimulate new vitality in economic development,” Lian said.
The Midea Group, China’s leading home appliance maker, is shifting from expanding production capacity to developing quality products through innovation.
During the past three years, the company, with an annual production capacity of 30 million electric cookers, has been focusing its attention on developing and manufacturing high-tech electric cookers. Some of the products are priced over 6,000 yuan ($912) per unit, about 20 times more than the old ones.
Electric cookers sold by the company in 2017 were worth a total of 5 billion yuan, up by 30 percent from 2014.
“In the past, we mainly produced medium and low-end products, while now quality plays the leading role. Our supply now falls short of the market demand and we have also attracted back some Chinese consumers who were previously converted to foreign products,” said Fang Hongbo, chairman of Midea Group.
The tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference listed eight major tasks centering around pursuing high-quality development, including deepening supply-side structural reform, stimulating the vitality of market entities and seeking wider opening up.
Industrial insiders believe that a more open China will share the fruits of its high-quality development with the world.
Cui Li, vice-president of China’s telecom giant ZTE, said the company was focusing on the commercialization of 5G technology and had partnered with over 20 companies in the area worldwide.
“Both the government and companies in China have taken an open attitude in terms of the communication industry,” she said. “We hope that the whole world will benefit from lower costs brought about by the scale economy of China’s 5G technology.”