But Western experience suggests that governments cannot dictate the pace of innovation and that Chinese enterprises and companies will have to take up the challenge in earnest if China is to take the leap made by Japan and South Korea to become world-class competitors. Unless that happens, China may still become the world’s largest economy, but it will not achieve its dream of being a true economic superpower.
William J. Holstein is a contributing editor of strategy+business. A veteran business journalist and author, he is based in New York. For more of his work, visit www.williamholstein.com.