China’s new five-year plan highlights support for frontier technologies

China has approved its 14th 5-year plan for social and economic development, underlining several key ‘frontier technologies’ that the country will intensively support over the next years, including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information, brain science, and gene technologies. Some of the goals outlined in the plan include achieving breakthroughs in cutting-edge fundamental theories for next-generation AI;  innovations in AI learning, reasoning, and decision making; development of general-purpose quantum computing prototypes; research and development of intra-city, intercity, and free-space quantum communication technologies; and brain-like computing and brain-computer fusion technology development. The county intends to strengthen its support (in particular financial support) for research, development, and innovation in these areas, while at the same time encouraging industrial collaboration. The plan also indicates a desire for the country to be more self-reliant technology, while also emphasising the need to maintain some level of international cooperation.