Baidu rolled out strong second-quarter numbers. Photo: Reuters / Aly Song

China’s cabinet released the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (link in Chinese) on Thursday, laying out a roadmap for the development of the technology in three steps.

The plan sets targets to reach parity with global technological advancements in AI by 2020, and to make important breakthroughs that will propel China to the forefront of AI technology in certain applications by 2025.

The third step is for China to be at the forefront of AI theory, technology and applications as a whole by the year 2030.

The plan comes as China has stepped up investment in US artificial intelligence startups, drawing the scrutiny of US lawmakers increasingly wary of China’s investment in strategically important industries. We can expect the scrutiny to grow.