China's Four Modernizations: The New Technological Revolution

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China's Four Modernizations: The New Technological Revolution

Edited by Richard Baum
Westview press, 1980
307 pp. $18.75
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This is a very timely and solid collection of articles on one of the core issues in China's modernization drive: China's ability to acquire, use and disseminate modern technology. The authors offer different responses to one crucial question: How effective can a highly bureaucratized political system be in encouraging innovation and disseminating technology in the absence of a market mechanism? Communist countries have been notoriously poor in this respect. Can China do the job better than Russia? In one revealing section, experts on China's defense establishment seem agreed that there are a number of constraints impeding the rapid modernization of the defense sector; in this area, they conclude, China will have enormous difficulty catching up with the United States and the Soviet Union.