China to step up controversial technology plans

BEIJING (AP) — China says it plans to step up efforts this year to develop clean energy and other high-tech industries in a strategy that has strained trade ties with Washington and other governments.

Officials said Thursday that areas targeted by the government this year include energy-saving technologies, new energy cars and next-generation mobile phones.

The communist government is trying to nurture Chinese technology industries with grants and other support. But the strategy has triggered complaints Beijing is violating its free-trade commitments and prompted a U.S. complaint to the World Trade Organization in December over subsidies to Chinese producers of wind and solar equipment.