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Chinese President Xi Jinping adjusts his suit at the end of the opening session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5.   © Reuters
China up close

Next phase of Belt and Road: Xi's own military-industrial complex

Beijing envisions high-tech arms exports as it extends its web of influence

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

BEIJING -- Reporters covering the National People's Congress, China's parliament, headed to a Beijing hotel on March 6 to watch Chen Min'er, the Communist Party secretary of Chongqing and a rising star in Chinese politics. Chen is a confidant of President Xi Jinping, and reporters listened to his every word as he presided over a parliamentary session on Chongqing policies.

Few reporters, meanwhile, seemed to show interest in a potentially important statement by another participant. At the session, Zhu Huarong, the president of automaker Chongqing Changan Automobile, stood up and said: "Following the guidance of "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," we will make use of Chongqing's prosperous defense industry and integrate it with the private sector to lead the development of defense-related science and technology. Furthermore, with those developments in hand, we will head to overseas markets cultivated by the Belt and Road Initiative."

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