China: From Copycat Nation to Space Innovation
The conventional wisdom is that China's economy is based on stealing intellectual property and underpricing it. If we look at aerospace technology, we see a different story.
The United States is an innovation economy while China is a copycat economy. That is how the conventional wisdom goes, and a common objection to China's way of doing business was neatly summarized by Alexandra Harney recently in The New York Times. "Too often China’s purpose is not to build on what the competition has done," Harney writes, "but simply to steal its work and underprice it."
In other words, dishonesty wins in China, and it might very well be the country's undoing. The fear of intellectual property theft erodes trust and cooperation. And that seems to be one big reason China is stagnant when it comes to innovation.
However, if we look at aerospace technology, we see a different story. According to a recent paper by Michael Raska of the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies at Nanyang Technological University, "since the late 1990s, China's government has gradually introduced elements of competition and globalisation, with the aim of overcoming the entrenched monopoly of China's traditional defense-industrial conglomerates."
Raska says these reforms have allowed China to streamline research and development, and transfer technology between its civil and commercial space entities. This has all happened under a veil of secrecy, but there are still very clear signs that China is fast developing into an innovator in aerospace technology. For instance, Raska observes:
The trajectory of China's ballistic missile R&D and production shows a gradual transition from copying and reproducing first-generation Soviet ballistic-missile technologies to adapting and modifying smaller, mobile, solid-propellant ballistic missiles and their follow-on second-generation systems. China is now an independent producer and technological innovator of selected missile systems and related aerospace technologies.
What's the Big Idea?
The United States has certainly copied industrial practices from Europe, while inventing its own -- notably the moving assembly line. The U.S. has been using that manufacturing model now for 100 years, and many would argue it is time to catch up with the times, and, dare we suggest, look at practices from other countries in order to reverse-engineer a flourishing U.S. economy.
In other words, being a copycat and an innovator often go hand-in-hand, and a good example of this is China's space program, which has recently achieved some significant milestones.
China recently completed its first manned docking mission in space, with its first female astronaut being a vital part of the 3-member crew. This was a significant step forward in China's plan to build a large manned space station by the year 2020.
So how did they get there? Here are some of the important milestones in the history of China's aerospace program:
International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.
One way to limit clutter is by being mindful of your spending.
- Overbuyers are people who love to buy — they stockpile things as a result. These are individuals who are prone to run out of space in trying to store their stuff and they may even lose track of what — and how much of what — they have.
- One way overbuyers can limit their waste, both money and space wise, is by storing items at the store, and then buy them when they really need them.
- Underbuyers tend to go to extraordinary lengths to not buy things. They save money and do fewer errands, however, they often make do with shabby personal items. They may also, when they finally decide to go out to buy a product, go without entirely because the item may no longer be available.
Explore a legendary philosopher's take on how society fails to prepare us for education and progress.
- Alan Watts was an instrumental figure in the 1960s counterculture revolution.
- He believed that we put too much of a focus on intangible goals for our educational and professional careers.
- Watts believed that the whole educational enterprise is a farce compared to how we should be truly living our lives.
A new study has investigated who watched the ISIS beheading videos, why, and what effect it had on them
This is the first study to explore not only what percentage of people in the general population choose to watch videos of graphic real-life violence, but also why.
In the summer of 2014, two videos were released that shocked the world. They showed the beheadings, by ISIS, of two American journalists – first, James Foley and then Steven Sotloff. Though the videos were widely discussed on TV, print and online news, most outlets did not show the full footage. However, it was not difficult to find links to the videos online.
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