Thursday, December 24, 2009

China is becoming a green giant

Evans Osnos wrote an interesting and well researched article about China's clean technology in his New Yorker column "Letters from China". 

The shrewd observation Evans made in that article is that the combination of US's innovation and China's mass production capability will make future move at a fast pace, illustrated by joint Sino-US ventures in clean technology.  He observed that US innovators possess the blazing spirits that are necessary to push forward frontiers of innovations, while Chinese lack such sprits largely due to bureaucratic obstacles erected by China's government and dishonesty wide spread among China's academia.  On the other hand, China's strength lies in her strong will to invest in infrastructures and production technologies once deemed necessary for the country, while actualization of research products is often hindered by ever change policies resulted from the political process in US. 

I think this is by and large an accurate observation.  At the current stage of respective developments, both countries, in terms of actualizing new technology, are indeed complementary to each other, just like many of other areas of economic corporations between the two. However, the more interesting point that can be gleaned from this observation is the  pros and cons of the two contries political systems. For many years, both China and US view each other as natural enemies due to ideological differences. But maybe, as evidenced by the economic corporation, both political systems are too complementary. Things that can't be done quickly for the benefit of the country as a whole in US are often accomplished in China w/o many red tapes. The free spirits of  innovating, largely incentivized by the law, are abundant in US while lacking in China.  Maybe both countries have much to learn from each other, and certainly it would be an ideal balance if the good stuff of both systems can be combined and bad stuff be left out.