China Policy Institute Blog

An Industrial Economic Perspective on China’s Prospects as an Innovative Country

Written by Junbo Yu. The declaration of China’s “National Guidelines on a Medium and Long-term Program for Science and Technology Development 2006-2020” (hereafter S&T Guideline) epitomised the climax in Beijing’s technology modernisation attempt. This process of implicit, temporary and topical policy efforts were finally subjected to state will with explicit, comprehensive strategies (namely the “Independent Innovation …

China: Innovator or Follower?

Written by Richard P. Appelbaum. 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 …

Will China become world’s largest research spender by 2020?

Written by Yutao Sun and Cong Cao. China will outpace the United States as the leading research and development (R&D) spender by 2020, according to the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2014, a biennial report released on 12 November. Topping Europe in R&D intensity, i.e. the ratio of GDP to R&D spending, in 2012, …

Specialized IP Courts and China’s Quest to Become an Innovative Economy

Written by Mark Cohen. One of the most significant recent developments in China’s efforts to develop an innovative economy was the decision on August 31, 2014 by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to establish specialized Intellectual Property (IP) courts in three cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The decision speaks loudly to the …

Good Science, Administrative Churn and Reform: Some Chinese Puzzles

Written by Richard P. Suttmeier. In its latest “Science, Technology and Industry Outlook,” the OECD has again called attention to the rapid rise of China’s research and development expenditures and the likelihood that Chinese spending on R&D will surpass that of the US in the not-too-distant future. But, this latest report also reminds us that …

GM in China: ‘Paranoia’ and public opinion

Written by Sam Geall. Biosafety certificates permitting Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired last week, with little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture will renew them. The certificates, issued in 2009, concerned two types of Bt rice, which express a gene of the bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, conferring pest resistance, and phytase …

Chinese Research and Development: More D than R

Written by Yutao Sun and Cong Cao. Funding for applied and basic research in China remains low despite huge amounts being spent. A recent OECD report on research and development around the world threw up some headline statistics for China to cheer. In 2012, the country invested 1.98 percent of its GDP in R&D, more …

China’s Nobel anxiety

Written by Cong CAO. For one week every October a serious bout of anxiety grips China. But it is not purely down to nervousness over which prominent dissident is in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the Dalai Lama in 1989 and Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Rather it reflects the Chinese government’s …

Why does China under-perform in science and innovation?

Written By Cong CAO. On 10 May 2012, in his testimony to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Professor Denis Fred Simon, Vice-Provost for International Strategic Initiatives at Arizona State University, and a long-time collaborator of mine, made this observation: “In the 1980s, when China S&T specialists were asked why China lags significantly behind …

Chinese research culture and the brain drain

Written by Cao Cong. The threat of a “brain drain” has long lingered over China’s ambitions to transform its economy from one reliant on low-cost manufacturing to one powered by home-grown innovation. Alert to the danger, Beijing has acted swiftly to counter the departure of its scientific and entrepreneurial talent overseas. Back in 2008, the …