Developing talent key to China’s innovation

Por • 9 abr, 2019 • Sección: Internacionales
Xu Hailin
Global Times 
2019/4/9  
“Is China catching up with the US in innovation?” The answer is yes. The Washington DC-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation examined “36 indicators of China’s scientific and technological progress vis-à-vis the US a decade ago versus today” and found that “China has made progress on all indicators, and in some areas it now leads the US.” 

Is China leading the US in some areas of innovation? I know quite a few people cannot believe what they are reading as they still take China as a copier, not innovator, in their minds. But I have to say that is really happening. 

China’s progress in innovation is the result of not only constant efforts and inputs in the past decades but also the international interaction of talent. After more than 40 years of reform and opening-up, China’s scientific research talents have been at the forefront of technological development. Many of them have become research leaders in Western countries, and many have made tremendous contributions to their motherland. 

At the same time, Chinese scholars and researchers have the opportunity to acquire advanced technology. They use their unimaginable diligence to narrow the gap between China and the US in science and technology. It was impossible for China to become a competitor of the US in innovation without the contributions of talent from home and abroad. This is also the reason China will continue to maintain an opening-up policy.

This is what the US stuck to, and this has helped the US become the most powerful country as well as the most attractive place for scientific and engineering personnel in the world. However, although it remains big, the gap between China and the US is narrowing, because China is a fast follower and the US is somehow deviating from that right path.

Realizing China’s competition, the US has adopted a containment approach in an attempt to cut off the exchange of talent with China. Washington has blocked cooperation between American universities and Huawei, and has taken extremely strict restrictions on China-US technology exchanges. The number of international student visas has sharply dropped in the past few years – the biggest decline in visa approvals in 2017 was seen among students from China and India, according to CNN. This technology cold war approach goes against the trend of cooperation in globalization. It made China more aware of the importance of talent, both domestic and overseas.

Facing such barriers set by the US, what choice does China have? Beijing will not close its door as Washington hopes and will try to improve the social, scientific and educational environment to attract talent. Today’s globalization has provided more opportunities for China to further strengthen its exchanges with outsiders by opening up. China will make full use of the advantages in technology and competitive salaries to form a comprehensive network that can attract overseas talent.

High-end talent is the key for a country to take the lead in future competition in innovation, and vying for more talent could be a theme. China will not only cultivate its own world-class talent by means of international interactions, but also to allow more overseas personnel to take root in China. As the saying goes, talent is the most valuable resource in the 21st century.

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