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China's Emerging Technological Edge: Assessing the Role of High-End Talent Paperback – April 20, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Exploiting a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Denis Fred Simon and Cong Cao have produced an extensively researched, finely argued, and methodologically sophisticated study of science and engineering talent in China. This book will be a critical resource for all those in business, academia, and the policy making community who wish to better understand China's ability to develop and foster innovation.' Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations

'Several decades have passed since researchers and analysts could find a comprehensive document on Chinese pools of scientists, engineers and students. Simon and Cao have given us deep and profound insights on China's emerging technological edge in a multidimensional perspective.' Jon Sigurdson, Stockholm School of Economics

Book Description

China's economic rise has been astonishing, yet the country finds itself engaged in a debate over whether its scientific and technological potential can be realised. This study addresses the critical issues surrounding China's talent pool, and speaks of significant policy implications both for China and the international community.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521712335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521712330
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,659,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Reader on December 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The controversy over the influential "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" report brought the issue of China's science personnel to national attention. The Academy's "RAGS" report got the attention of the White House and Congress partly by pointing with alarm at huge and rapidly growing numbers of technical graduates in China. Then it was found that some of the data used was suspect, undercutting some of the basis for the American Competitiveness Initiative and the America COMPETES Act.

Simon and Cao have perfomed a much needed service in compiling a defensible database and providing a comprehensive analysis of Chinese data on their human resources in scientific and technology (HRST). While their findings are much more nuanced than those in the RAGS report, they confirm that its general picture was true. Chinese HRST is growing rapidly in quantity and quality, contributing to a challenge to Western science leadership generally. While rapid growth has its problems, as the authors show, huge investments in science education are paying quick dividends to China's efforts to become an S&T superpower. Unlike the West, there is no shortage in China of well-qualified students who want to train for science careers; with a population of 1.3 billion, China has more smart people than the US has people.

Of course, the book's focus on HRST prevents detailed coverage of other factors contributing to China's sharp advance in S&T. Your reviewer believes that huge and rapidly increasing direct investments in R&D are even more important.
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