Xi Jinping touts China’s new-energy prowess as Joe Biden bashes its auto policies

by Sylvia Ma at scmp.com

Even as the rapidly rising strength and pace of China’s new-energy exports have provoked international scrutiny and a degree of green protectionism, President Xi Jinping has big ambitions to push the sector’s boundaries, seeing it as a hi-tech tonic to invigorate economic growth.

During a study session of the 24-member Politburo on Thursday, China’s leader also vowed to further tap the strategic industry’s potential while boasting its international competitiveness.

His comments came just ahead of leadership’s biggest political event of the year, the “two sessions” parliamentary gatherings. Policy advisers and lawmakers will convene on Monday to discuss critical economic matters, unveil the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) target for 2024, and reflect on potential countermeasures to Western containment efforts.

“China now leads the world in many new-energy technologies and in equipment manufacturing levels, and it has built the world’s largest clean-power-supply system,” Xi said, according to party mouthpiece Xinhua.

“As new-energy vehicles, lithium batteries and photovoltaic products have also formed strong competition in the international market, we now have a good foundation for new-energy development,” Xi added.

However, he said, “we should also recognise that China’s energy development still faces a series of challenges, including significant demand pressure, various supply constraints, and the daunting task of transitioning to green and low-carbon energy”.