Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presides over a meeting with government officials and executives of leading manufacturers on manufacturing upgrades and economic restructuring in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 25, 2017. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi) BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- China will count on innovation to drive manufacturing upgrades and economic restructuring, encouraging industry giants to make breakthroughs in core technology and take advantage of the Internet to reshape development, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said. Li made the remarks at a meeting with government officials and executives of leading manufacturers Friday. "Manufacturing is the foundation of economic development," Li said. "China economic transformation and new industrialization rely on a strong manufacturing sector." But Chinese manufacturers as a whole are still at the mid- and low-end of international division of labor, they are big but not always strong, Li said. The country should briskly push forward its "Made in China 2025" strategy to bring the manufacturing to a new level, with measures to eliminate outdated capacity and techniques and step up shifts of economic engines, Li said. When discussing with entrepreneurs, the premier called on homegrown companies to improve diversity, quality and the brand value of their products, and vigorously follow international standards. Braving global competition will "prompt innovation and breakthroughs in core technology," Li said. Manufacturers should foster new advantages of high quality and applicability of their products and wean-off the reliance on cheap costs, which will help more domestic brands become well-known around the globe, according to Li. Highlighting innovation in management systems, Li asked companies to use Internet and big data technologies to reorganize their research and development, production and business patterns. "Customized production should be promoted to meet diverse market demand," Li said.