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Fear Not China’s Supercomputer

Fear Not China’s Supercomputer

An article on businessweek.com titled “Fear Not China’s Supercomputer“ presents two points of view on China’s R&D progress using the development of a supercomputer as a discussion point. While the authors each have valid reasons to support their respective points of view, the fact remains that increasing Chinese technical capabilities in no way stop the US from increasing its own R&D investments. Why is the US failing to see that surrendering its leadership position in R&D and in innovation is detrimental to its own future?

In response to the news of China building a supercomputer that is faster than the ones built in the US, businessweek.com has published a pro and con set of articles on the subject.

The pro viewpoint, by Henry Chesbrough of the Haas School of Business, takes the view that this development is not a threat to the US since creation of knowledge is not a zero sum game. He argues that even more investment in science and technology will lead to medical breakthroughs and better products. The writer says that graduating students will look for the best opportunities to work. Therefore, if American industry can provide opportunities that can attract such students, both industry and the students will gain. Chinese strides in R&D must spur the US to increase its own research efforts. An open US has much to gain from a rapidly developing world.

On the other hand, John Kao of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation says that he is all for building innovative capability and that China surely deserves all the acclaim it gets as it develops its R&D facilities. However, what worries the writer is the loss of US leadership position. He cites from history to show how great powers fell into decline because they were hit by waves of innovation they could not harness or understand. He fears that when the fruits of massive Chinese investment in education and R&D begin to be visible, America may have fallen too much behind. Tomorrows battles may be fought in today’s research centers and Chinas growing capabilities may destabilize the world.

Note: The preceding is a summary of an article found though our research, and is provided here with editorial comment for members only. Please see the full article at the following link for full original content. http://www.businessweek.com/

The New Asia Innovation Team

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