From “world factory” to technological superpower: is China ready for global leadership in innovation?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Post-graduate student
Affiliation: Institute of Asian and African Studies Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: 1 building, 11, Mohovaya st. 1125009, Moscow
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 1

In recent years, China has been often touted as a "technological superpower" rather than the "world factory". The new concept implies the country's leadership in the field of new technologies and their significant role in its economy. At first glance, China's achievements in science and technology and growing exports of high-tech goods confirm this status.

China's innovation potential has grown significantly in recent years — the country gets regularly ranked top 20-30 in both Chinese and international innovation rankings. Moreover, the analysis of indicators related to China's independence in innovations shows an even more confident leadership of the country — up to the top 5 countries of the world.

At the same time, a quantitative assessment of factor contributions to economic growth shows that the contribution of new technology to GDP growth from 2000 to 2019 was 8-10%, while for the most part, growth was driven by traditional industries. Nevertheless, China's growth can no longer be called extensive in recent years, and the state's efforts to switch to high-tech drivers through large-scale programs, such as the construction of "new infrastructure," only bring China closer to the status of a "technological superpower". Although China cannot yet be called technologically independent, trends in recent years suggest that China may well reach the status of a world technological leader even before its GDP, measured in current exchange rates, exceeds that of the United States.



The author expresses his gratitude to V.A. Melyantsev, Professor at the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University, for his support in preparing this paper.

KeywordsChina, new technologies, information and communication technologies, innovations, economic growth
Publication date17.03.2023
Number of characters34153
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