Is China an Innovator or Still an Imitator?

CNS News

In a recent post on the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute Blog, CNS PI Richard Appelbaum draws from his research group's study of global innovation to apprize whether China's science and technology research culture is producing innovative discoveries. Below is the opening to his argument. The entire post can be read in its entirety here.

In 2006, continuing its effort to achieve world-class status as an S&T innovator, the Chinese government launched its National Medium- and Long-Term Plan (MLP) for the Development of Science and Technology 2006-2020, making “indigenous innovation” its top developmental priority. China’s emphasis on indigenous innovation positions the Chinese state as a key driver of economic development. This represents a strong form of industrial policy,[i] in which key areas of basic science, applied engineering, and industrial sectors are targeted for public investment at all governmental levels. The intention is to wean China from its dependence on foreign technologies, enabling domestic advances in science and technology to drive product innovation – to move China from imitation to innovation. The hope is to transform China into a technology-focused economy by 2020, and a global leader in R&D, science, and product innovation by 2050.  Key thrusts include significantly increased public investment in basic research as well as applied R&D, building science parks and research centers, funding focused venture capital funds, and recruiting prominent expatriate scientists and entrepreneurs from universities and businesses abroad through such initiatives as the Thousand Talents Program and the Thousand Young Talents Program.[ii]

To read the rest, please visit the China Policy Institute Blog.