The development of China, whose economy plays one of the leading roles on a global scale, is recognized by the West. This situation is influenced by many factors. Among them you can mention, among others, demographic potential, government policy or the development of modern technologies.
Beijing strives to become A self-sufficient superpower. Hence the attempts to independence from Western solutions, advanced work, for example, on artificial intelligence, quantum or hypersonic technology, as well as an attempt to “conquer the universe”.
Closest objectives of the Central State? according to Through the innovation-oriented National Development Strategy (established in 2016), China joins Leading Innovative Countriesand by 2050 it will be scientific power on a global scale.
Obstacles on the way to the top
in the report “China’s Science Model”, Created by BluePath Labs, it is emphasized that the “road to the top” may not be as simple as Beijing imagines.
The content of the analysis indicates that despite the fact that China has made great progress in recent years in scientific fields, there are still many structural problems. These obstacles make it difficult to achieve the main goal: to become a stand-alone innovation force.
In order to implement its ambitious plans, the Middle Kingdom must face such challenges as, among others, the imbalance between basic research and technological development; Focus on quantitative indicators when measuring performance or the priority role of controlling power over an effective science and technology policy.
Focus on development
As Ma Xiu and Peter W. Singer point out in pages defense one, The first challenge to the Chinese Communist Party is shaped by the conditions of the nineteenth century behind the emergence of modern Chinese science policy thought.
The painful defeats of the Middle Kingdom in the Opium Wars drew the attention of leaders to the negative effects of neglecting the development of science and technology.
In this context, scholar Wei Yuan’s statement appears to be of key importance, as he noted in the picture message about the sea kingdoms: “Acquiring skills from aliens to take power over them.” His words referred, inter alia, to the warships, firearms, and methods of training soldiers that gave the West an advantage.
Ma Xiu and Peter W. Singer indicate that he currently performs in China Too much focus on developmentat the expense of spending on science and research (in relation to research and development), which are crucial to the emergence of innovative technologies and cutting-edge solutions.
Experts provide data. “In recent years, basic and applied research has produced 36 percent of the pool devoted to research and development. In contrast, in the case of China, it is 17 percent.” – They confirm.
They also add, in the United States in 2018, spending on this area amounted to $211.5 billion – in the Middle Kingdom it was $51 billion.
Beijing has recognized this problem. president Xi Jinping He pointed out that China is one of the annexes Little attention to basic researchWhich does not allow them to develop breakthrough solutions in the field of science and technology on a large scale.
The Middle Kingdom is still very much applied central approach Search. This situation is influenced by the Marxist-Leninist culture rooted in the nation. priority batch control that govern science and technology policy.
Zhou Enlai, Prime Minister of China from 1949 to 1976, noted in his lifetime that “science is inseparable from politics. It controls and rules it.”
Now Xi Jinping has tightened his hold on power over all areas of the science and technology ecosystem. In his view, this step is a political guarantee for the progress of national science, technology and innovation initiatives.
Ma Xiu and Peter W. Singer confirm this Freedom It is something that Western scientific institutions have. It is missing in China. In their opinion, this is a problem for the Middle Kingdom, because such top-down control and centralization contribute to this stifle innovation and creativity.
According to experts, it is not possible to plan for progress in a particular field by mobilizing resources on a large scale and commissioning massive research and development projects. This is Beijing’s approach. Power wants to predict something unpredictable.
Planning is useful because it facilitates progress, especially in technology, but it cannot be a basis and a priority. The development of research, innovation and science requires an approach based on uncertainty. You need freedom.
Art for the sake of art, or “academic trash”
For the Middle Kingdom, the numbers matter. Therefore, you can focus on Quantitative indicatorsUsed to evaluate the results of work as well as scientists, researchers and others.
Statistics cannot be criticized because they provide valuable information. However, focusing on the “numbers” does not always show the true picture of events. Numbers can hide, color or distort the image of many things.
For example, China has become number one in the number of patents. The Middle Kingdom also ranks second when it comes to the number of publications in journals. “This may give the impression that Beijing’s scientific dominance is imminent,” Ma Xiu and Peter W. Singer point out. Don’t say everything.
Experts pay attention to the so-called “academic bullshit” (xueshu laji). They explain that they take the form of piles of useless papers, made by Chinese scholars only to celebrate their existence, not to advance.
in Report 2018 China Science and Technology Association, interesting statistics were presented. The data showed that 93.7 percent. The researchers stated that the main motivation for creating publications was to meet promotion requirements.
This situation has given rise to culture global lie In academia, including plagiarism, falsification of results, or the use of personal relationships to obtain promotion,” Ma Xiu and Peter W. Singer note.
To confirm their thesis, the experts cited the example of 107 articles from the scientific journal on cancer “Tumor Biology”. The material was withdrawn after its reviews were found to be fabricated.
China will develop, but …
Of course, the progress in science and technology that China has also made should not be underestimated, given the perspective of the last generation. There are many indications that this will not change in the future. The Middle Kingdom will develop in many areas.
This is because the authorities have noticed some of the issues mentioned above and are expected to take steps to solve them. You could mention, among other things, making plans to better support and fund basic research in the coming years.
However, can the most serious problem, the system itself, be solved? At the moment, it is hard to imagine that Beijing will give up interfering with research and development, as well as reduce its control over it.
This discourages scholars outside China to come and pursue their ambitions at this time. Moreover, some citizens of the Middle Kingdom choose to leave the country to meet elsewhere.
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