China is Not Simply the Latest Paper Tiger

May 2, 2011

"Made in China" has been a fact of life for years. But when it comes to creating an innovation-based economy, can China really hold a candle to the U.S.? Dr. Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues in a new book, Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge, that there are serious weaknesses in China's innovation system, from cultural deference to authority to pervasive government meddling in the market to policies aimed more at pirating technological innovation than developing it. Thus, Segal argues that the U.S. has little to fear from China in the near to mid term. Rob Atkinson believes China's aggressive innovation policies, coming at a time of increased U.S. complacency and weak or non-existent innovation strategies, represents a perilous intersection for the United States. In this event, Segal and Atkinson toe-to-toe over the issue.