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Access to science and technology worldwide is achieved by active participation in open international scientific research, as well as through technological capability that is decisive in catching up with world developments in science and technology. In other words, it is the "national system of innovation" which determines a country's assimilation capacity. The universities, research institutions, the technological infrastructure, industrial training schemes, information networks and technical institutions in general provide the foundation for a solid, steady development. Therefore policies directed toward strengthening the national system of innovation are essential for a catching-up strategy. But even more important is the presence of skilled and experienced people with the necessary connections to the scientific and technological infrastructure of the world at large. this applies to China in particular. Whether or not the technological potential will be developed, depends on the technological and industrial strategies promoted by the Chinese leadership. In addition, the costs and benefits of technological development are affected by the prevalent evolutionary stage of a country's political framework and fiscal regime. There must be a strong coordination between overall economic policies and technology policy. A sucessful management of technology is only possible through a "technological package" including management, financial and marketing skills.



Technology Management


Deng’s Reforms 1976–1988

As all policy in China, the reforms, too, are undergoing a time of crisis. The Chinese term for “crisis” (wei-ji) is composed of the characters for “danger” and “opportunity”. If we wanted to describe the state of crisis, we would have to identify elements of danger and elements of chance and hope. Our Chinese friends, who like to think in terms of history, perceiving the world in images of dynamic evolution, are usually very conscious of the connection between crisis and change. On the other hand, we can also try to recognize elements of continuity and of change, as Western historians like to do. Perhaps it is still too early to allow for a thorough analysis of the events of 1989. But one can certainly review the dangers and chances of the reforms designed and enacted in the years before.
Manfred Kulessa

Domestic and Foreign Technology -- Factors Influencing Assimilation and Diffusion Capabilities

It is nowadays a truism to say that technology is the key to economic development. While the exact contours are as yet unclear, the impact of the so-called new technologies in particular is having and will increasingly have a profound effect on all economies, whether or not individual countries participate in any way in their generation. As access to and control over technology is becoming the key to industrial competition both: domestically and internationally, policies aiming at gaining access to technology, or exploiting its full potential if it is already in use, are high on the list of priorities of both industrially advanced and developing countries. This is at a time when new actors have been integrated into the global economy, while traditional actors have seen their competitiveness eroded. The success of the former has in no small measure been due to their ability, in a favourable international economic climate, to acquire technology from the latter, assimilate it rapidly and efficiently, and utilise it to promote technological and industrial capabilities. A response of the traditionally dominant actors has been to institute neo-mercantilist strategies which, on the one hand, attempt to promote and protect their technological superiority, while on the other hand they try to open up foreign markets, particularly those with future growth potential in Latin and Asia.
Richard Conroy

From Technology Transfer to Technology Management

Whenever the Chinese refer to the situation in their country in the field of technology — in books of history and political economy, in newspapers or on the radio — they systematically and quite officially refer to it as being luo hou, which means backward or lagging behind. With this expression, we must allow for traditional Chinese politeness, which involves the use of excessively derogatory words when one speaks about oneself, and the use of excessively positive and favorable words when talking about someone present. Yet there is something else: a general feeling, deeply rooted in people’s minds, that foreign knowledge is superior to their own in the fields of science and technology.
Pierre Ventadour

Changing Chinese Thinking about Technology Transfer

The year 1978, when China made its decision to adopt on open policy to the outside world, marked a major change in the direction of the debate in that country on the subject of technology transfer. The works published on this subject since then can be roughly divided into two categories in terms of their character: at first, most of them aimed at popularizing the new open policy and emphasized the necessity for it, including the introduction of foreign technology, or discussed practical details such as what kind of technology should be selected for the time being and the way in which it should be introduced, but in 1982 works began to appear that dealt with the subject of technology transfer on the theoretical level from many different angles, those dealing with the future orientation of technology transfer surpassing the others in terms of both quantity and content. The present paper is a survey of the main such works for the purpose of considering recent changes in the Chinese discussion of the introduction of foreign technology, and determining what Chinese policy on this subject is likely to be during the Seventh Five-Year Plan period, which starts in 1986.
Ryusuke Ikegami

Case Studies


The Development of the Chinese Steel Industry

At first sight, China’s achievements in steel production are impressive, as we can see from the following statistics (Table 1; in million tonnes of steel produced per year).
Jacques A. Astier

Technology Transfer in China: The Case of Oxygen-Generating Equipment in Steel Industry 1978–1988

The production of steel requires large amounts of oxygen, some 50 to 60 cubic meters per ton. With the growth of China’s steel industry, of about 8 percent per year during the last decade, its oxygen producing capacity has had to be expanded accordingly. In the following article, we will describe how this was effectuated through technology transfer, cooperation agreements, expansion of production and imports from foreign countries. Our interest focuses on
  • the performance of the main producer of cryogenic equipment in China, the Hangzhou Oxygen Plant Manufactory, in its implement-tation of a 10-year license agreement with the West German Company Linde A.G. concluded in 1978 with TECHIMPORT;
  • the promotion by the national government of a coordinated development of native industries by means of technology transfer;
  • the selection process of foreign oxygen-generating equipment in three Chinese steel plants under different administrative control and economic conditions, and their contract negotiations;
  • the contract provisions for supervision of construction and training of operating personnel, and subsequent execution of the agreements.
Eduard B. Vermeer

China and the World in the Nineties


A Summary of Global Technology Trends of Possible Strategic Interest to the People’s Republic of China

This brief paper will first summarize some important trends in science and engineering that are influencing the innovation process and diffusion rates of technology, the requirements for rapid progress in science, and likely effects on technical cooperation and competition.
Lewis M. Branscomb

China and the World in the Nineties

Trends in new technologies and their implications for China toward the 1990s
Over the past fifteen years, the world economy has been subjected to a series of crises which have led to numerous domestic and international disturbances. Several major trends are at work behind this evolution of the world economy: the increased interdependence of national economies, the emergence of a multi-polar world, an increase in the welfare gap between the different regions and, most notably, the advent of a technological revolution.
Keichi Oshima

China’s Strategy for Agricultural Development in the 1990s

In accordance with the decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council, our economic development has been carried out in three main steps. The first step was to double the gross national product of 1980 and to solve the problem of food and clothing for our people. This task has been largely achieved. The second step is to double the GNP again by the end of the century, thus enabling our people to lead fairly comfortable lives. The third step is to reach the per capita GNP level of moderately developed countries by the middle of next century. This means that modernization will basically have been accomplished and that our people will have begun to enjoy a relatively affluent way of life. The most important task at present is to make a success of the second step, in which a correct strategy for agricultural development has a direct bearing on the overall economic structure. To this end, we must pay attention to the following aspects.
He Kang

Scientific and Technological Progress and the Revitalization of China’s Economy

Human civilizations in both their material and intellectual spheres have been shaped by advances in science and technology. The current technological revolution is promoting social development so greatly that it is leading to a new international dynamism and framework in the world economy. Countries which are relatively highly developed are likely to fall behind if they attach less importance to science and technology (S&T) progress, while less developed economies may be in a better position to seize the opportunities offered by a new and wider range of technologies. Thus experiences and lessons drawn from what determines the efforts of late-comers deserve our attention.
Hu Ping

China and the World in the Nineties

Deepening Reform for Technological Progress in China
Since the founding of the new China, a relatively integrated industrial system has been established after nearly forty years’ efforts. Industrial and agricultural production has developed rapidly, and scientific and technological standards have risen remarkably. By 1986, China’s output of major industrial and agricultural products was the largest in the world: for example, cereal, meat, cotton, cloth and cement ranked first; coal, second; chemical fertilizer, third; steel, fourth; and crude oil, chemical fibers and electric energy, fifth. The number of natural scientists and technical personnel in China reached 8,253,100; the number of R&D institutes in natural science and technology affiliated to governmental organizations above county level was up to 5,271, employing 1.02 million staff, of whom 324,800 are scientists and engineers. The scale of these operations also put China among the first in the world.
Lin Zixin

The Rapid Expansion of Economic Information in the 1990s and the Challenge to China’s Economic Reform

In the early 1980s, people began to talk about the emergence of a new technological revolution, and described it as the “third wave”, maintaining that developed countries (DCs) had entered the “information society”, “post-industrial society”, etc. Some economists regard this change as a “megashift”.
Zhou Xiaochuan, Yang Jianhua


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