China’s Technology Savvy Leadership

Posted on February 15, 2008  Comments (4)

China’s Sci-Tech Savvy Leadership by Jocelyn Ford

Until last year, the top nine members of China’s politburo were ALL trained engineers! And guess what? The Communist Party made innovation and global leadership in science and technology national goals.

Ancient China is famous for its early scientific advances, some of which predated western developments by centuries. Its inventions include paper, printing, gunpowder and the compass.

Leadership does matter, but so does the system. It seems to me it should take a lot longer for China to build a sci-tech friendly system than for the U.S. to bring in sci-tech friendly leadership. That’s where you come in Ira & co.

If I may make one final comment: in my ideal world, borders shouldn’t matter. Victory by the best system, with the best leaders, will hopefully be a victory for all earthlings.

CHINA’S POLITBURO (2007): Decline of the engineer. Last fall China introduced a new top lineup that included two law graduates, as well as an economist, and graduates in history, journalism, management and business administration.

I agree that the increase in science and engineering investment around the globe is a positive development. But the USA faces loses that it has enjoyed due to past technology leadership.

China benefits greatly from such scientific knowledge at the highest level of government. The top 9 leaders in China are know as the “Politburo Standing Committee,” the new additions in 2007 were:

Xi Jinping, 54, studied chemical engineering at the Qinghua University and later earned a doctorate in law.

Li Keqiang, 52, obtained MA and doctorate of Economics after attending the on-the-job postgraduate program on Economics at the School of Economics of Peking University.

He Guoqiang, 63, B.S. Beijing Institute of Chemical Engineering.

Zhou Yongkang, 64 “Graduated from the Exploration Department, Beijing Petroleum Institute, majoring in geophysical exploration. With a university education. Senior engineer with a rank equivalent to professor. ” Funny, I don’t remember any U.S. politician exalting their experience as “equivalent to a professor.”

They joined the nine-member echelon with the five remaining members of the previous standing committee, namely Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin and Li Changchun.

Related: Science Investment, Diplomacy and EconomicsAsia: Rising Stars of Science and EngineeringChina’s Engineering Innovation PlanOnce Again Engineering Graduates Lead Ranks of S&P 500 CEOsAuthors of Scientific Articles by CountryBest Research University Rankings (2007)

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