China is facing a demographic crisis. Worse, as the younger generations increasingly shun construction work, due to the risks, dirtiness and backbreaking workload involved, the construction sector is grappling with a dwindling workforce.
Li's trip underscores China's efforts to double down on high-tech innovation, especially in advanced manufacturing, and an attempt to diversify away from an Internet-led growth model.
Shanghai, which already leads the nation in penetration of robots, is to build 10 industry-leading robotic brands and 100 trademark robot application scenarios by 2025, with a market size to the tune of 100 billion yuan.
He stressed that efforts should be taken to stabilize the percentage of manufacturing in China's overall economy and further strengthen its division of industrial sectors, which is already among the world's most complete.
The Guangming Daily editorial is one of a raft of high-profile official documents, statements and media commentaries of late that spoke of robotics in glowing terms.
Beijing has ramped up efforts to consolidate its status as an innovation hub and AI industry cluster.
He added by 2025, the city's density of industrial robots will rise further by 100 units per 10,000 residents.