Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, said the country needs to “seize the opportunity” afforded by blockchain technology.
Speaking as part of the 18th collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee on Thursday in Beijing, Xi said blockchain technology has a wide array of applications within China, listing topics ranging from financing businesses to mass transit and poverty alleviation.
“We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies,” Xi told committee members.
“[We must] clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on a number of key core technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.”
The Chinese president’s statements on blockchain are believed to be his first in-depth remarks on the technology.
Xi further said it would be “necessary to implement the rule of law network” into existing and future blockchain systems. To this end, Xi argued for a top-down approach concerning implementation, calling for guidance and regulation. Xi said testing of the tech should be widespread, including the investments in training platforms and “innovation teams” before implementation.
His speech also called for the creation of “Blockchain+,” a platform alluding to personal development such as education, employment and food and medicinal safety, among other basic needs.
Since a 2017 decision by the People’s Bank of China, cryptocurrencies are banned in the country, although a digital renminbi is being developed by the central bank and likely to launch soon.
Xi Jinping image via CoinDesk archives