back to article Chinese president Xi seeks innovation independence

Chinese president Xi Jinping has given a major speech on the country’s science and technology agenda, and signalled that China will innovate for itself rather than source technology from the rest of the world. Xi’s speech to the 19th Academician Meeting of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the 14th Academician Meeting of the …

  1. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    FAIL

    A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

    Picture me laughing. :-D

    Inventors, innovators, require incentive. Communism, as well as having no ability to change one's government, stifles incentive. This is specifically why the Chinese people turned to criminal activity as the only available source of incentive, the only available source of invention and innovation. It's why China can educate citizens well beyond western world citizens, but meagre invention results. It's why the Chinese government has been hacking into US government and corporate computers since 1998, the year the US handed them 'Most Favored Nation Status'. It's why Chinese mobile phone manufactures constantly rip off off Apple. It's why the US government blocked the use of ZTE phones.... The list of supporting facts is incredibly long.

    Just this week, reported at Ars Technica:

    "Xiaomi clones the iPhone X for $420, adds in-display fingerprint reader

    Plus the "Explorer Edition" has an in-screen fingerprint reader and a transparent back."

    Compare China's criminal nation behavior with the history of all other 'communist' nations. It's the same rut, over and over. Sorry Karl Marx. There must be a viable response to abusive, parasitic, negative 'capitalism'. But your approach is a failure. And sorry China, but you sealed your current fate when you fell for the 'communist' promise that is never fulfilled. Try again. And yes, that means giving up the ridiculous President-For-Life abuse of your citizens. It also means giving up your empire ambitions. Become citizens of the world, not its dictators please.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

      > Communism, as well as having no ability to change one's government, stifles incentive.

      President Xi has a different definition of communism to you. China is at ease with the contradictions of being both capitalist and communist.

      1. GrumpyOldBloke

        Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

        @ Dave 126. Not sure China is at ease with the president for life concept being reintroduced, memories of Mao and the cult of personality. There was considerable debate within China on this topic before the outcome was officially accepted. President Xi may have a different definition of at-ease than the rest of us.This inability to suffer a free exchange of ideas, the norm throughout Asia and a growing problem in the West, pretty much condemns a culture of innovation and that is before we get to the myriad of problems with connections and corruption.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

          "Not sure China is at ease with the president for life concept being reintroduced, memories of Mao and the cult of personality. There was considerable debate within China on this topic before the outcome was officially accepted."

          I've met many young Chinese right after that decision was taken, and they were definitely not happy with it. That doesn't mean they're against CPC rule in general, but that particular move was really unpopular. The authoritarian-rule-with-periodic-renewal-of-ruling-class is generally appreciated, as it is perceived to allow for gifted people to rise. Stopping that renewal would recreate the static aristocracy that was as bad for the USSR as it was for the Qing Dynasty.

          Technically, he's not yet president-for-life, he could still decide to step down at the end of his 2nd mandate, as his predecessors did. Sadly, it's not likely to happen at this point, what is likely is that his staying in power will stifle innovation, as many in the younger generation would be looking for greener pastures.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

        From the article: "major original results are lacking"

        this is a key point. Question to ask: 'Why?'

        From earlier comment: "President Xi has a different definition of communism"

        I'm pretty sure I do not like *HIS* definition of it, either. Communism is what it is. It claims to try and "equalize outcomes" while [in reality] GREATLY ENRICHING a small elite at the expense of mediocrity for "the masses".

        In Communism, individuals become "the masses", a bunch of pseudo-equal 'bricks in the wall'. but of course SOME bricks bear more load than others, as is ALWAYS the case. The difference is that with COMMUNISM, unless you're a favored member of "the elite", your reward is HARDER WORK with no benefits other than the extra stress and tiredness.

        So why bother working hard at ALL? Under communism, this is the way it REALLY is!

        Continue this mentality where there is *NO* chance at self-advancement or "a better life" by working harder, or inventing something. So, WHY BOTHER? WHY should anyone do ANYTHING 'outside of the box', especially in a society where THE NAIL THAT STICKS OUT GETS THE *HAMMER*??

        Communism DESTROYS innovation, by ENCOURAGING MEDIOCRITY.

        In a communist dictatorship, WHY should you RISK your slave-wage job by suggesting IMPROVEMENTS? In China, you can have a factory filled with workers making pennies by comparison to a Capitalist country. If anyone 'dissents' from the norm, yer OUTTA there! We do what we are told and do not make waves, so we can take our pathetic slave-wage paychecks home and maybe have a slightly better existence as a result of it.

        THIS kind of OPPRESSIVE environment is *NOT* conducive to INVENTING!

        So, is it any wonder WHY President Xi would say "major original results are lacking" ???

        To get 'major original results', ABANDON THE COMMUNISM FOR FREEDOM!

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      I'm sorry, but incentives have nothing to do with the economy

      It's not like in capitalism innovation brings any incentive other than the intrinsic ones. It's not like an innovative company will be successful. Just look at Apple which became successful after they stopped trying to be innovative.

      The smartphone business simply is dead innovation wise, no change in how you do economics can change that. It's a commodity market, like sugar.

      If you want to see innovation, you need to look into the public sector. Innovation is done at universities or even partially state run companies. Just look at the new electric car the German postal company brought out recently.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I'm sorry, but incentives have nothing to do with the economy

        > Just look at Apple which became successful after they stopped trying to be innovative.

        How do you define innovation? In the areas in which Apple has released products the low hanging new fruit has already been taken (and good, maturity is actually a good thing for end user experience, since the bugs are ironed out and a stable base has been established for others to build upon. Innovation for innovation's sake alone is daft). Those areas Apple is researching but has not yet released a product we hear very little about (though there's evidence that they're looking at AR, micro LED displays, self driving cars)

        Apple are largely chefs not farmers - though if it suits them they will finance those who grow their ingredients. The iPod was the result of looking at a new form factor of HDD and thinking 'what can we do with this'? The iPhone similarly came from looking at available ingredients (wireless data networks, SoCs, Apple's own tablet skunk works and previously acquired companies).

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: I'm sorry, but incentives have nothing to do with the economy

          The iPod was the result of looking at a new form factor of HDD and thinking 'what can we do with this'?

          The iPod came about because Apple looked at what others were already doing and figured out the way to do it much better. And they did an astounding job in doing that, really hit the zeitgeist, deserved the accolades.

          Apple and their fans may like to think they are an innovator but they never really have been.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: I'm sorry, but incentives have nothing to do with the economy

            Hence my chef/farmer analogy. Take a HDD drive from a HDD company, add the scroll wheel from a Bang and Olufsen telephone (though they were also present on Sharp Minidisc players and Sony AV equipment), add a FireWire interface (first iPods were Mac only, and most PCs only had USB 1 which wasn't fast enough for the job). Place it in a case that resembles a cigarette case (a time-tested and refined object that goes in and out of pockets). That's not meant to make it sound easy - if it were others would have done it. Sony had the expertise in all areas (UI, product design) but didn't make it.

            Remember Apple has been near death in the 90s except in audio and design sectors where FireWire was invaluable for soundcards and scanners.

            It's also why I asked about what @Christian Berger meant by 'innovation' - I'm not sure why some think the manner in which ingredients are brought together cannot be considered innovative, and that innovation can only be found in the components themselves. I also question the value of 'innovation' in a device for its own sake - it's only useful if it improves the user experience.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

      Sorry Karl Marx. There must be a viable response to abusive, parasitic, negative 'capitalism'.

      As my dad used to say "You got your history lessons wrong lad. What we have here is not communism, it is theocracy".

      1. The manifesto of the communist party is an ideal to subscribe to. Especially the bits which were plagiarized verbatim from the Sermon on the Mount.

      2. The first volume of Das Kapital actually makes sense. There are some conjectures which are a bit far fetched, but it is not far off. In fact, it is in use till this day in a lot of economic theory and social analysis work.

      3. By the time you reach the 3rd volume you are in WTF land - it is on par with the dinosaurs walking next to the humans in a Kentucky theme park.

      4. Lenin syphilitic drivel, Mao "localisations", etc can be only believed in. They defy logic. That is why you saw in USSR posters "WE BELIEVE IN THE BRIGHT COMMUNIST FUTURE". We believe. Period. Nothing more. Nothing else. Because anything less will actually make you doubt it. The only way to accommodate it was to fervently believe.

      5. Zhdanov, Stalin, Pol Pot - that is Torquemada and Co. If belief is not sufficient, the iron maiden and the heated gloves will assist.

      We are not yet clear which bit does Xi drivel fall into 4 or 5, but it is there. Something along the lines of the scribblings of the priests in Torquemada employ (or his own) discussing the number of devils sitting on the top a needle.

      Back on your conjecture on innovation. You are wrong. Period. Innovation is constant and happens even in the most repressive regimes.

      What theocracies across the ages have failed to do, is to convert innovations (especially ones which contradict the holy scriptures) into products and put them into mass use. Going back to the USSR and the soviet block - their scientists usually discovered the same things as the west at roughly the same time. What they failed was to put them to use and/or build the appropriate gadget out of the discovery and especially - bring it to Joe Average cittizen.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

        "You got your history lessons wrong lad. What we have here is not communism

        Damn right, actually it's a given that the vast majority of political entities that include a name of a political style in their name are the exact opposite of what they claim.

        The USSR was never communist (centralist autocracy), Russia is now a kleptocracy.

        The German National Socialist Party were about as close to socialism as the current US Republicans

        China, similar to USSR but improving.

        Both parties in the US are corporate plutocracies and the UK under the self-serving maniacs in the Conservative party is heading down the same destructive path.

        And so on, actually the only place where real communism has been tried are the Kibbutz's in Israel but if you tell a kibbutzim he or she is a communist, they'll beat seven shades of shit out of you.

        Communism - a great system for small scale communities, fails miserably on a large scale.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

        What Marx was saying was to use capitalism to drive innovation to increase wealth (grow the pie), and *then* to distribute that wealth more evenly so everybody has a better standard of living.

        1. GrumpyOldBloke

          Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

          What Mr Marx (third cousin to the Rothschilds') failed to mention was that the wealth can't be distributed more evenly because in a debt based fiat currency the wealth is created out of thin air by the bankers as debt and must return to the bankers as an expression of real effort and value when due. Missing this important point, Marx was little more than a dreamer.

    4. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: A President-For-Life Communist Country? Read Some History Please.

      My probably incorrect theory: China is, and has been for the last few Millenia, a feudal society.

      The appointment of rulers may have changed a bit. Instead of an emperor, court, and mandarins, there is now a President, the Communist Party of China with its Standing committee (Lords) and the party itself. The party membership is about 7% of the population. It might be argued that a number of Asian countries have similar power structures based on political parties or ruling families. These countries tend to be relatively stable as their populations appear to embrace an accepted structured authoritarianism. Changes in the leadership have little immediate effect on much of the population, allowing long term planning.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Further Space Traveller AIdVentures for Deeper See Thinkers .... Radical Fundamental Tinkerers

    Nice one, Xi Jinping. I Second and Wholeheartedly Support those Extremely Motivational Programs.

    Where would you like to begin, whenever so far out in front and clear of any opposition and competition?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Further Space Traveller AIdVentures for Deeper See Thinkers .... Radical Fundamental Tinkerers

      Further Space Traveller AIdVentures for Deeper See Thinkers .... Radical Fundamental Tinkerers

      Top marks for the title, but I thought the post itself was a bit too understandable. Anyway have a beer on me.

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    China innovates ... look they've made the flying pig. Carrying Bigfoot to his waiting unicorn.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge
      Trollface

      Idiot

      Bigfoot doesn't exist!

  4. Denarius Silver badge
    Meh

    so centralised economy bureacrats are just like western CEOs ?

    demanding initiative and independent thinking while running a micromanagement rules based mindset allowing only approved activities. While working for the bigger TLA outsourcerers I noted their PHB classes loved terms straight out of the USSR with 5 year plans and other fantasies. Perhaps the USSR won the minds of its nominal enemies while losing the economic war. Conversely, was it New boss is same as Old Boss ?

    Reminds me of a long ago analysis on why trying to copy Silicon Valley elsewhere failed. The answer was an entire culture of accepted failure on way to success, coupled with a very short term approach to business life spans and supporting organisations. eg, being able to hire an and office furnishing for 3 months. This also explains why the Japanese attempts to out innovate merkins failed. Able to better engineer others creations, often in innovative ways but core break throughs cam from elsewhere. The problem is fundamentally a world view derived culture problem. The old joke about both BSD Unix and LSD coming from Berkely not being a co-incidence seems to match reality. yeah yeah I know about AT&T, but where did BK spend a lot of time ?

    All ruling cliques seek to preserve their power and status. They just use different tags and flags which for some reason, the idiot peasants think represent reality instead of another round of mendacious advertising.

  5. Christian Berger Silver badge

    They are actually trying

    Apparently to this talk by Mitch Altman, China is really working on supporting their hackerspaces as one of their sources for innovation. That certainly is way smarter than the German way of just giving companies money to waste.

    https://media.ccc.de/v/zeteco-38-hacking_in_china

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The dragon is waking up

    China is a big country with an enormous population and easy to control - because tourists are just so visible. It's not easy to be a foreign terrorist in China, much less easy than in Paris.

    China has used Western economics to its advantage up to now, and now it is wanting to do more than just use other people's tech ; it wants to make its own. And that is perfectly normal.

    The question in my mind is will China become a world-wide supplier when its language is so totally incomprehensible to everyone else ? If that is what it wants, it'll have to make its tech in English, because nobody outside of China will buy something with a Chinese interface. And my guess is yes, China will want to sell abroad.

    That's going to give us a lot of funny pics showing some popup of a Chinese product saying one thing in funny, broken English that obviously should be written quite differently. In the mean time, Chinese software houses will become proficient, their Universities competent, and we will see Chinese products come to our stores in waves.

    That day is coming closer.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: The dragon is waking up

      It's a grand cycle

      120 years ago America screwed Europe with wholesale theft of intellectual property and undercutting labour costs.

      Then Japan did the same to America.

      Then South Korea did the same to Japan.

      Now China is doing the same to SK.

      Next on the cycle will probably be parts of Africa if they can clamp down on the endemic corruption.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: The dragon is waking up

        I was in Vietnam recently, and a lot of advertising billboards were in English. It seems English is a Lingua Franca for neighbouring Asian countries, Russian tourists, educated Vietnamese.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The dragon is waking up

      "China is a big country with an enormous population and easy to control - because tourists are just so visible. It's not easy to be a foreign terrorist in China, much less easy than in Paris."

      Plenty of the terrorists in Paris, like those responsible for the Bataclan attack, were not foreigners, but French, born in France. I really don't see what that sentence really means, except ttrying to be an homage to a supposed ethnic purity?

      Thinking that China's population is easy to control shows laughable ignorance of its diversity. Yes, the vast majority is ethnic Han. Even those are very varied, both physically and culturally, and carry on using dozens of different dialects. Then there are the other groups, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Mongols, Yi...

      Yes, there is a hukou residency certificate system, much older than Communism, that purports to keep people in a set place of residence. In practice, also predating Communism, dozens of millions of migrant workers move and spend most of their lives away from their official place of residence (the crowd in train stations when they all get back to their families on national holidays, that's a sight to see).

      And finally, when there is a popup for some famous Western brand, showing a perfectly clear and understandable message in English, or French, or whatever language - where do you think it comes from? Beijing, most likely. A *lot* of translations are done there already, often by relatively poor foreigners who need some cash (I've done it) or by locals.

      I really wonder where you live that've you've not seen a Made In China wave of products in your stores already.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: The dragon is waking up

        "I really wonder where you live that've you've not seen a Made In China wave of products in your stores already."

        Indeed, I passed the Apple Store in Bath a few days ago.

        The real problems for the West will come when the Chinese really go after the small value but high price add on that is branding.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The dragon is waking up

      If that is what it wants, it'll have to make its tech in English, because nobody outside of China will buy something with a Chinese interface

      When they want to they already do.

      My personal phone is an "economy" Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. And it's brilliant, best phone I've ever owned. On a spec-for-spec comparison it doesn't come close to a current range topper from Apple or Samsung, but as a good all round smartphone it is a joy to use. And it comes with language compatibility claimed across (cutting and pasting) Afrikaans, Asturian, Azerbaijani, Indonesian, Malay, Catalan, Czech, Danish, German, Estonian, English, Spanish, Basque, Filipino, French, Galician, Croatian, Icelandic, Swahili, Kurdish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Uzbek, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Finnish, Swedish, Vietnamese,...and then Bulgarian, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Turkish, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Nepali, Marathi, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Thai, Burmese, Tibetan, Khmers, Amharic, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Greek.

      According to the credits, there's no native English speakers involved in development, but I can assure you that I've seen nothing in daily use to hint at that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    無論我們決定在技術上做什麼,我們都會做,沒有什麼會阻止我們。

    1. razorfishsl

      LOL......

      Physics..... might well stop you.

      But the real issue is no one is trying to stop you do anything other than continually stealing technology you don't contribute to.

  8. razorfishsl

    This after a China national hacked into a US robotics company via Macao

    The HK government refused the US deportation order.

    In other news , HK complains very strongly about the US holding a HK/China national and refusing to grant him bail.

    Yes... the sordid little webs we all weave.....

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