Dr. Denis Simon joins special China Briefing for Secretary of Commerce

Professor Denis Simon joined a team of experienced specialists on contemporary China to brief United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in preparation for the forthcoming meeting of the United States China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). The JCCT provides a mechanism for the United States and China to address outstanding issues in their bilateral relationship as well as to launch new initiatives that broaden the economic and commercial ties between the two nations.

The briefing team addressed a range of economic, investment, trade and innovation issues, including the bilateral trade deficit, IPR enforcement, and the RMB-U.S. exchange rate. The special session with Secretary Locke was part of a full day of presentations organized by the Department of Commerce in conjunction with the Jackson School at the University of Washington and Georgetown University.

Professor Simon addressed the issue of innovation in China and the likely path of future Chinese technological progress. He noted that despite the fact that most China seemingly has appeared to be more assertive on the foreign policy and national security fronts, the leadership actually had a great deal of anxiety about the pace and direction of their country's technological progress. Professor Simon pointed out that despite an increase in research and development spending and an improvement in the existing science and technology infrastructure, a number of managerial and operational problems within the research environment were constraining Chinese efforts to attain more rapid technological advances. He explained that Chinese leaders nonetheless remain steadfast in their commitment to transition China away from an over-reliance on manufacturing and more in the direction of creating a knowledge-driven economy, with life sciences and clean energy technologies being the highest priorities.