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Innovation and Technology in China

The IGCC project on the Study of Innovation and Technology in China (SITC), led by Tai Ming Cheung, seeks to understand the approaches, challenges, and prospects for success in China’s quest for technological transformation.

The goals of the project are several-fold:

  • Conduct investigations into the fast-changing evolution of the Chinese defense and dual-use science, technology, and innovation (STI) bases.
  • Locate this research within a broad functional and comparative framework that contrasts the Chinese experience with Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.
  • Address the security implications of China’s military and technological transformation for the United States and the international community.
  • Bring together and nurture a community of US scholars from diverse disciplinary fields to help develop the field of Chinese security and technology studies and a center for academic excellence at IGCC.

IGCC established SITC in 2009, with primary funding from the Department of Defense Minerva Initiative.

Training Workshops

Training is an integral part of the SITC project. Multi-day workshops in residence at UC San Diego and training courses in Washington, DC, have provided opportunities for more than 150 graduate students, junior faculty, and US government and military personnel to gain in-depth knowledge of Chinese security and technology-related issues

More on the workshops

Annual Review of China’s Defense Technology and Industrial Base

China’s defense science, technology, and industrial base and supporting civilian and dual-use sectors have undergone major changes under Xi’s program of reforms. The nature, pace, and extent of this change has varied widely across industries, with legacy sectors such as nuclear and ordnance falling behind or even becoming obsolete, while the newer information-based sectors drive China’s economy forward.

SITC undertakes annual assessments of the development of critical components of China’s science, technology, and innovation base to provide insights into the dynamics that are shaping these diverse sectors. This annual conference is usually held in conjunction with the summer training workshops at UC San Diego. Findings are released in an annual compendium of research briefs.

Browse the research briefs

STAY INFORMED WITH SITC NEWSLETTERS

The weekly SITC Bulletin provides a selection of reporting on Chinese science, technology, and innovation issues. The biweekly China D-Tech Watch highlights trends in Chinese military and civilian defense innovation across the major industrial sectors.

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Activities

Annual Reviews of the Chinese Defense Industry: Progress and Drivers

US-China Strategic Competition in Defense Technological and Industrial Development
July 27–28, 2016
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]

New Insights into Chinese Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation
July 29, 2015
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]

Personalities, Talent, and the Human Capital Base
August 9–10, 2014
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]

Understanding the Structure, Process, and Performance of the Chinese Defense Research, Development, and Acquisition System
July 29–30, 2013
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Participants [pdf]

Conference on China’s Defense Science, Technology, and Industrial Base
July 19–20, 2012
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]

The Chinese Defense Industry
June 30–July 1, 2011
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]

China’s Defense and Dual-Use Science, Technology, and Industrial Base (D2STI)
July 1–2, 2010
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Participant Biographies [pdf]


Other Conferences and Workshops

2018

Workshop on the Current State and Long-Term Prospects for China’s Defense and Strategic Technological Development
September 13, 2018
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment
Washington, DC

Agenda [pdf]

Comparing Defense Innovation in Advanced and Catch-up Countries
May 3, 2018
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
Washington, DC

Agenda [pdf]
Speaker Biographies [pdf]

2017

Applying Lessons Learned from China to Understand How Other Countries Become Military Technological and Industrial Powers
December 12–13, 2017
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]

2016

Change and Continuity in Chinese Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation and the Chinese High Command and Defense Policy-Making System: Research Insights from the Project on the Study of Innovation and Technology in China
March 16, 2016
Washington, DC

Agenda [pdf]

2015

New Insights into Chinese Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation
July 29, 2015
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]

Chinese Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation in a Period of Major Change: Research Insights from the Project on the Study of Innovation and Technology in China
February 9–10, 2015
Washington, DC

Agenda and Speakers [pdf]

2014

Joint Dialogue on Comparing US and Chinese Approaches to Science and Technology Budgetary and Resource Allocation
October 22–23, 2014
Beijing, China

Agenda [pdf]
 
Chinese Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Era of Xi Jinping: Research Insights from the Project on the Study of Innovation and Technology in China
January 30–31, 2014
Washington, DC

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf] 

2013

Historical Influence of Contemporary Chinese Grand Strategic Thinking on Science and Technology
October 17–18, 2013
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]
 
Dialogue on Comparing US and Chinese Approaches to Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Decision-making
August 1–2, 2013
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Participants [pdf]

Workshop on Assessing the State of China’s Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation Capabilities
March 11–12, 2013
US Pacific Command
Honolulu, HI

Agenda and Speakers [pdf]

Assessing the State of China’s Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation Capabilities
March 7, 2013
Honolulu, HI

Agenda and Speakers [pdf]
 
China’s Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation System: Current State and Development Prospects over the Next Decade
January 14–15, 2013
Washington, DC

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]

2012

Rich Region, Strong States: The Political Economy of Security in Asia
November 4–5, 2012
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Participant Biographies [pdf]
Conference Summary [pdf]
 
China’s High-Tech Trade and Investment with Major Partners: Channels and Implications
July 23–24, 2012
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]
 
Conference on the Structure, Process, and Leadership of the Chinese Science and Technology System
July 16–17, 2012
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Speakers [pdf]
 
Workshop Comparing Chinese and US Innovation Competitiveness 
March 22–23, 2012
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
 
China Minerva Scholars Conference: Research on Chinese Security and Technology by Emerging Scholars and Analysts
January 27, 2012
Washington, DC

Agenda and Participant Biographies [pdf]
 
Workshop on the Military and Geo-Strategic Implications of China’s Rise as a Global Technological Power
January 25–26, 2012
Washington, DC

Agenda and Speaker Biographies [pdf]
 
Workshop on Assessing the State of China’s Civilian and Defense Science and Technology Capabilities: Political, Strategic, Military and Technological Dimensions
January 4, 2012
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Agenda [pdf]

2011

Changing Military Dynamics in East Asia: Grand Strategic and Technological Drivers and the Implications for US and Regional Security
September 12–13, 2011
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
 
The Political Economy of China’s Technology and Innovation Policies
June 27–28, 2011
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]

Workshop on Assessing the State of China’s Civilian and Defense Science and Technology Capabilities
March 21–22, 2011
United States Pacific Command
Honolulu, HI

Agenda and Speakers [pdf]

2010

Training Workshop on the Military and Geo-Strategic Implications of China’s Rise as a Global Technological Power
November 18, 2010
Washington, DC

Agenda [pdf]
Findings [pdf]
 
US–China Informal Bilateral Dialogue on Science and Technology Policy
June 30, 2010
La Jolla, California

Announcement [pdf]
Agenda [pdf]
 
Evaluating Chinese Approaches to National Innovation: Comparative and Sectoral Perspectives
June 28–29, 2010
La Jolla, California

Agenda [pdf]
Workshop summary [pdf]


Events

PUBLIC TALK: Evolving Legal Frameworks for Protecting Internet Privacy in China
Jinghong Xu, Associate Professor of Communication, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
La Jolla, California
February 12, 2013
 
PUBLIC TALK: China’s New Navy—and Asia’s New Naval Arms Race?
Bernard Cole, Professor of International History, US Naval War College
January 30, 2013
La Jolla, California

Assessing the State of China’s Civilian and Defense Science and Technology Capabilities: Political, Strategic, Military and Technological Dimensions
February 1, 2012
La Jolla, California
Briefing for local U.S. military leaders (from C3F and SURFOR). 
 
PUBLIC TALK: China’s National Security Policymaking Capacity
David Finkelstein, Vice President of the Center for Naval Analyses and Director of CNA China Studies
February 1, 2012
La Jolla, California

PUBLIC TALK: What Went Wrong? China's Assertive Diplomacy and Japan-China Relations
Prof. Akio Takahara, Tokyo University
March 28, 2011
La Jolla, California

Chinese Universities and Innovation: Comparisons with the United States
February 8, 2011
La Jolla, California
 
PUBLIC TALK: Long-Term Defense Planning in Asia and Its Impact on Regional Military Dynamics
Richard Bitzinger, Senior Fellow, Military Transformations Program, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
February 7, 2011
La Jolla, California
 
PUBLIC TALK: Awash in Debt: State Liabilities and the Future of the Chinese Economy
Victor Shih, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University
January 21, 2011
La Jolla, California

PUBLIC TALK: Engaging China in Nuclear Nonproliferation
Noah Pope, Deputy Program Director for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Los Alamos National Laboratory
January 10, 2011
La Jolla, California

Innovative China: The Sources and Obstacles to China's Aspirations to be a World Class Creative Power
June 24, 2010
La Jolla, California

Summary [pdf]
 
PUBLIC TALK: A Strategic Assessment of North Asia and Implications for the United States
Tom Fingar, Former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council
May 10, 2010
La Jolla, California

Publications

Links to journal articles and other materials are provided as a courtesy. Your access will depend on your academic institution's subscription policy. Links to books and book chapters are to the publisher's site if the book is not available electronically. 


Newsletters

China D-Tech Watch is a biweekly news digest highlighting the Chinese defense industry, produced by the Study of Innovation and Technology project at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

The weekly SITC Bulletin provides a concise yet comprehensive selection of the most important English and Chinese language reporting on Chinese science, technology, and innovation issues ranging from official policy announcements and leadership activity to corporate news, project updates, and analysis of key developments by leading experts.

SITC Policy and Research Briefs

IGCC publishes policy and research briefs based on the work of SITC researchers. The annual SITC conference on Chinese defense research, design, and acquisition results in a series of briefs released each winter.


News Analysis

These short articles were written by members of the SITC research team for the SITC newsletters. 

Translation: Interview with Lei Fanpei
November 8, 2016

Xi Jinping’s Intensifying Engagement with the Military and Defense Industry
October 21, 2016

Aircraft Engine Corporation of China
June 30, 2016

The National Conference on Science and Technology
June 9, 2016

The Civil-Military Integration Coordinating Small Group
May 20, 2016

HPC and Oil Security in China
Jordan WILSON, January 2014

China's Space Robotic Arm Programs
Kevin POLLPETER, October 2013

The Tianhe-2 Supercomputer: Less than Meets the Eye?
Brian TSAY, July 2013

China's Dream Army
Joseph E. MILLER, June 2013

Additive Manufacturing in China: Aviation and Aerospace Applications (Part 2)
Eric ANDERSON, May 2013

Additive Manufacturing in China: Threats, Opportunities, and Developments (Part 1)
Eric ANDERSON, May 2013

Competition and Cooperation: The Story Behind the Y-20 Maiden Flight
Hanlu LU, March 2013

University of Strathclyde and CALT Launch Joint Laboratory
Lauren REED, March 2013

China’s Second Ballistic Missile Defense Test: A Search for Strategic Stability
Kevin POLLPETER, February 2013


Books and Book Chapters

Cheung, Tai Ming. “The Riddle in the Middle: China’s Central Military Commission in the Twenty-First Century.” In Phillip C. Saunders and Andrew Scobell, PLA Influence on China’s National Security Policymaking (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015).

Cheung, Tai Ming, ed. Forging China’s Military Might: A New Framework for Assessing Science, Technology, and the Role of Innovation (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014)

Cheung, Tai Ming, ed. China's Emergence as a Defense Technological Power (London: Routledge, 2012).

Cheung, Tai Ming. “Strategic Latency with Chinese Characteristics: The Quest to Realize Its Strategic Potential in the 21st Century.” In Strategic Latency and World Power: How Technology Is Changing Our Concepts of Security, edited by Zachary Davis, Michael Nacht, and Ronald Lehman (Livermore, CA: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2014).

Journal Articles

China’s Emergence as a Defense Technological Power,” ed. Tai Ming Cheung. Special issue of the Journal of Strategic Studies, June 2011.

Bitzinger, Richard A. “China's Defense Technology and Industrial Base in a Regional Context: Arms Manufacturing in Asia.” Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 425‒50.

Blasko, Dennis J. “‘Technology Determines Tactics’: The Relationship Between Technology and Doctrine in Chinese Military Thinking.Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 355‒81.

Bräuner, Oliver. “Is Europe Feeding the Dragon? EU Transfers of Militarily Relevant Technologies to China.Journal of East Asian Studies 13, No. 3 (Sept.–Dec. 2013): 457–82.

Cheung, Tai Ming. “China's Emergence as a Defense Technological Power: Introduction.” Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 295‒97.

Cheung, Tai Ming. “The Chinese Defense Economy's Long March from Imitation to Innovation.” Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 325‒54.

Cheung, Tai Ming. Dragon on the Horizon: China's Defense Industrial Renaissance.  Journal of Strategic Studies 32, No. 1 (2009): 29–66.

Cheung, Tai Ming, and Bates Gill, “Trade Versus Security: How Countries Balance Technology Transfers with China,Journal of East Asian Studies 13, No. 3 (Sept.–Dec. 2013): 443–56.

Evron, Yoram. “Between Beijing and Washington: Israel’s Technology Transfers to China.Journal of East Asian Studies 13, No. 3 (Sept.–Dec. 2013): 503–28.

Hughes, Christopher W. “The Slow Death of Japanese Techno-Nationalism? Emerging Comparative Lessons for China's Defense Production.” Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 451‒79.

Mahnken, Thomas G. “China's Anti-Access Strategy in Historical and Theoretical Perspective.Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 299‒323.

Marukawa, Tomoo. “Japan’s High-Technology Trade with China and Its Export Control.Journal of East Asian Studies 13, No. 3 (Sept.–Dec. 2013): 483–501.

Pollpeter, Kevin. “Upward and Onward: Technological Innovation and Organizational Change in China's Space Industry.Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 405‒23.

Tyroler-Cooper, Samm, and Alison Peet. “The Chinese Aviation Industry: Techno-Hybrid Patterns of Development in the C919 Program.” Journal of Strategic Studies 34, No. 3 (2011): 383‒404.


Testimony

Cheung, Tai Ming. Remaking Cinderella: The Nature and Development of China’s Aviation Industry. Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hearing on China’s Emergent Military Aerospace and Commercial Aviation Capabilities, May 20, 2010.
 
Pollpeter, Kevin. Testimony Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hearing on China’s Space and Counterspace Programs, February 18, 2015.
 

Other

Cheung, Tai Ming. “Mianyang-Science at the Epicenter: The Shaken Foundations of Mianyang’s Quest to Be a Dual-Use and Hi-Tech Hub.” George Mason School of Law National Center for Technology and Law. Science Trade and Technology Program Policy Brief. August 2008.