China must confront weaknesses to avoid ‘middle technology trap’.

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China is increasing its science and technology budget by 10% to escape the “middle technology trap”. The focus is on basic research and affordable innovation. Challenges include a work culture that leads to “invisible overtime”, a low appetite for risk, and a higher education system geared towards practical engineering over basic science.

In response to the tech war with the US, China is investing more in science and technology, particularly in areas like artificial intelligence, biotech, new energy vehicles, and space tech. The emphasis on affordable innovation and quality innovation has helped China climb the innovation learning curve, producing high-tech goods and services.

However, internal challenges such as a demanding work culture, low risk tolerance, and a focus on practical engineering over basic science could hinder China’s progress. Addressing these challenges, along with distributing science and technology funding efficiently, could further establish China as a global tech leader.

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