Fascinating post over at This is China, entitled, Are We Innovative Yet? The China Challenge. [link no longer exists]
The post relays a conversation with a Chinese national who believes China is not innovative and never will be. She bases this on China’s educational system, parents not letting their kids decide what to study, and a legal system that does not protect IP.
Near as I can tell, she is right to think all of these things hold down innovation in China, but she is wrong to dub this a forever thing.
Increased wealth will eventually change China’s education system and parenting methods — this is already happening in places like Shanghai — And increasing innovation in China is already leading to increasing protection of IP in China.
All of this will take time, but it will happen, just as it has for Korea and for Japan. China will eventually innovate and protect IP. The question is when.