June 24, 2010
Professor Simon gives presentations on economic and technological developments in China
Professor Denis Simon of the School of International Affairs recently gave a presentation addressing the "orbital mechanics of Taiwan's technological trajectory" during a special symposium on "Taiwan in the 21st Century: Politics, Economics and Society." Utilizing an analogy regarding the physics of orbital movement and the role of gravitational forces, he highlighted how and why Taiwan could not ignore the "gravitational pull" of ongoing economic and technological developments on the China mainland, while at the same time, ensuring that its economic and technology relations with the United States, Japan/Korea, and Southeast Asia also were growing. During the trip to Taipei, Professor Simon along with several other scholars and experts from The Brookings Institution and Columbia University met with Taiwan's President, Ma Ying-jeou held at the Taiwan Presidential Palace.
Professor Simon and Dr. Cong Cao of the Levin Institute recently presented "Is China an Innovation Threat to the U.S.?" in a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. The presentation focused on recent developments in China's R&D system, including a discussion of the "reverse" of the brain drain and the impact of returnees on China's innovation drive. Professor Simon discussed the recent progress across the Chinese R&D system, including the rapid increases in funding, the growth in the scientific and engineering talent pool, and the modernization of the infrastructure in terms of equipment and facilities across government research institutes and universities. Professor Simon suggested that with the net addition of more money and resources devoted to science and technology development, it is somewhat surprising to see that the pace of S&T advance has not had greater momentum.