Chinese Innovation Policy After 1978 in a Cultural Context
The Chinese emphasize the importance of their innovation policy as a way of becoming a more powerful country. Generally, monetary resources and state policies were thought to be the leading factors that have contributed to China's growing number of patents and innovative projects. This paper discusses the role of cultural traits related to the China's innovation policy since the country started reforming its economy after 1978. A question arises whether culture has any impact on the achievements in the field of innovation, and whether those cultural attributes are positive or negative. Conclusions related to the question are derived from a process of deductive and reductive reasoning. The author finds that culture may both foster and stunt the creation of new ideas, and that culture does not play a crucial role, just an auxiliary one. Nonetheless, attention to cultural traits are important in understanding the driving forces of economic development of the People's Republic of China. Specific aspects of Chinese culture that are identified as having a positive influence on innovation are copying and modernizing, long-term orientation, the sociological concept of "face", the influence of the Chinese diaspora, and Chinese nationalism. All of these elements are intertwined to a degree, but are discussed separately. This work includes some fresh perspectives on a relatively narrow body of scholarly literature on the relationship between innovation in China and the nation's cultural traits. This relationship has just gained more attention recently. (original abstract)
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