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FOR reasons inherent in the nature of traditional Chinese science and because of certain features of the social structure of pre-modern China, Chinese science never filled the economic, social and military roles which modern science has come to occupy in the industrialised societies of Europe and North America. Traditional Chinese science was largely observational, inclined to the classification of natural phenomena rather than to action upon nature. The practitioners of science found a role within the traditional social structure--as astronomers to the court, for example--or, like the Taoist alchemists, they remained outside, but not in opposition to, es~blished society. The marriage of science to technology which occurred in the later phases of the industrial revolution in Europe and America had no equivalent in Chinese culture, despite its early technological, as well as scientific, achievements. When, in the Opium Wars, British guns finally confronted the Manchu dynasty with Western technology in a form it could ignore only at its own peril, conservative officials could still hope to spurn what they thought was the science on which that technology appeared to be based. The political decline of the dynasty continued after the Opium Wars (1839-42 and 1856-60), the Taiping rebellion (1850~4), and the FrancoChinese war of 1884-85, and traditional economic and social structures became progressively weaker. Military and economic incursions from the West continued to demonstrate Europe's technological superiority while young Chinese intellectuals, the graduates of missionary schools in China 1 and overseas studems returning from America, Europe and Japan, 2 were beginning to interpret their country's comparative backwardness as the result of its lack of modern science. Eventually the Manchu rulers were forced to undertake a programme of economic and social reform. The short-lived reform movement of 1898 attempted to introduce change through reform of education, transformation of the legal system, and modernisation of the armed forces. These moderate reforms were thwarted by dynastic politics. Yet, following ~he military defeat by the Western powers in the Boxer rebellion of 1900, even the opponents of reform were forced to make concessions to westernising trends, such as abolition of the traditional Confucian examinations and introduction of natural, political and social sciences into the curricula of the new universities.8 1 Biggerstaff, Knight, ' S h a n g h a i Polytechnic Institution and Reading R o o m ', Pacific Historical Review, X X V (May, 1956), pp. 127-149. z Wang, Y. C., Chinese Intellectuals and the West, 1872-1949 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966). 3 , Chine---Histoire jusqu'~t 1949 ', Encyclopaedia UniversaIis (Paris: France S.A., 1968-
Scientific Institutions in China
Each rebuff of their efforts had driven the proponents of reform toward a position of more extreme espousal of the Western model, 4 until by the turn of the century 'democracy' and 'science' had become the main ingredients of their prescription for national revival. The republican revolution of 1911 did not result in democracy, but it did witness the establishment of modern scientific institutions in China. The Science Society of China was established in 1914 and began publishing a monthly journal in 1915. The Academia Sinica was founded in 1928 and the Peking Research Academy in 1929. Shanghai was the site of the Academia Sinica's institutes of physics, chemistry and engineering, while the institutes of astronomy and meteorology were located in Nanking. A comprehensive law concerning the organisation of the universities was enaoted in 1929. By 1930-31, more than 28,000 students were registered in 59 universities in the country? In that academic year, some 25 per cent. of the students were studying science and technology, and by 1934 the proportion had risen to 70 per cent. 6 Research institutes were established at the National Central University in Nanking and at Tsinghua University in Peking. 7 Nonetheless, modern science in China before the Second World War was still at a 'colonial' or 'dependent' stage of development; it was still largely imitative of the antecedent research performed in Europe and America. 'Scientism ', which attributed absolute authori.~y to scientific knowledge in all spheres of life, flourished not only in the immediate scientific community, but beyond its boundaries as well s The failure of republican institutions in China did not result in rejection of the democratic idea, so the proponents of scientism, undeterred by their lack of success, called for the application of more, rather than less, science. Indeed, part of the appeal of Marxism to Chinese intellectuals, starting in the 1920s, was its claim to be a 'scientific' analysis of social and economic structures. Thus, there existed in China in the 1930s a rudimentary system of scientific institutions and a belief in the potential social utility of science. Although the Sino-Japanese war disrupted the growth of scientific institutions, research and education continued in the unoccupied cities of western China with significant international support? Concurrently with Ch'en, Ch'i-t'ien, Pioneer Promoters oJ Modern Industrial Techniques in China (New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp., 1968). 5 La Rdorganisation de l'enseignement public en Chine (Paris: Institut International de Coo1~ration Intellectuelle, Socitt6 des Nations, 1932). Guillermaz, Jacques, Histoire du parti communiste chinois: le patti communiste chinois au pouvolr (Paris: P~tyot, 1972). ' L'Organisation de l'enseignement suptrieur en Chine ', L'organisation de l'enseignement supdrieur H (Paris: Institut International de Cooptration Intellectuelle, Socitt6 des Nations, 1938). 8 Kwok, D. W. Y., Scientism in Chinese Thought 1900-1950 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965). 9 Needham, Joseph, Science Outpost (London: Pilot Press Ltd., 1948); Silow, R. A., ' The Scientific Activities of the British Council in China ', Science and Technology in China, I, 2 (April, 1948), pp. 26-32.
Genevieve Dean and Man/redo Macioti
these developments, the communists were paying attentior/ tO scientific education and research in Yenan, where, for example, a college of natural science with a medical department was established in the early 1940s. The scientific institutions which were re-established after the Second World W a r in the major cities formed a base, after 1949, for the science policies of the People's Republic. China's comparatively rapid development of modem research activities and institutions in the past 20 years is a continuation of the work of such institutions as the Academia Sinica, the National University and Tsinghua University in Peking, and the National Geological Survey and the National Central University in Nanking.
Science Policy Soon after the Chinese People's Republic was established in October 1949, it undertook to correct what was regarded as lack of coordination and wasteful duplication in scientific work. Scientific institutions were brought under central control along much the same lines as were followed in the Soviet Union. Within a month, the Academia Sinica, which had been responsible for science policy under the Nationalists government, and the Peking Research Academy were merged into the new Chinese Academy of Sciences. For two or three years, the scientists themselves, through the various departments of the Academy, drew up programmes of research. In 1954, however, they lost their powers in the making of science policy to the Scientific Planning Commission. In August 1956, draft outlines of a 12-year plan for science and technology were announced. Preparation of the preliminary draft had begun in December 1955 and drew upon contributions by some 1,000 Chinese scientists; subsequent draft plans were prepared by about 200 Chinese scientists, in consultation with 15 to 20 Soviet scientific advisers. This plan apparently dealt with t h e selection and scheduling of scientific problems and projects, together with the financial resources, the institutional machinery, and the training programmes needed to carry them out. Assistance from the Soviet Union was agreed upon for 100 of the 580 research projects put forward in the plan. 1~ This programme came under serious strains in the years of the Great Leap Forward (1958-60), the withdrawal of Soviet scientific and technical experts from China in 1960, and the subsequent period of economic readjustment from 1961 to 1963. A new 10-year plan for science and technology was then drawn up for the period 1963-72; it was said to consist of 'adaptations o f parts of the original 12-year science plan, with lo Only about 50 Soviet scientists went to China before 1957. After that date, Soviet sources quote the following figures : 99 i n 1957; 288 in 1958; 250 in 1959; and 160 in 1960. Cheng, Chu-yuan, Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Communist China (Washington: National Science Foundation, 1965), p. 194.
Scientific Institutions in China
the completion date extended to 1972-.11 Since details of these plans have never been published, the goals which they pursued, the administrative organisations, the resources invested in them; and the extent of their realisation can only be reconstructed from fragmentary data. These have been analysed in a number of studies, not always with the same conclusions. For example, China's science budget has been variously estimated to have been between 1'35 and 1'47 billion yuan by 196,5) ~ and the number of scientists and technologists in the same period as between 100,000 and 200,000,18 of whom 50-60,000 would probably be considered qualified scientists and engineers by Western standards. From 1958 until 1965 or 1966, the supreme science policy body in China was the Scientific and Technological Commission, an organ of ministerial rank responsible r the State Council, i.e., the cabinet. Once responsibility for the promulgation of policy was removed from the Academy, science policy was no longer primarily the province of professional scientists. The Scientific and Technological Commission, which had been formed in 1958 by the merger of the Scientific Planning Commission and the State Technological Commission, coordinated the scientific activities of the Academy of Sciences, the research institutes of the economic ministries of the central government and the Scientific and Technological Association, which was a union of the professional societies of China. The chairman of the Scientific and Technological Commission was Nieh Jung-chen. Technological development was included in the economic plans prepared by another group of central government agencies, including the State Planning Commission, involved in long-term planning, the State Economic Commission, responsible for short-term plans, and the State Capital Construction Commission. Two ~ administrative special agencies ', also under the State Council, which were probably involved in science policy, were the Bureau for Scientific and Technological Cadres and the Bureau for Foreign Experts. 14 In 1957, as part of a general effort to decentralise the administration and the economy, research institutes and branches of the Academy of Sciences were established in certain provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and special districts. ~ It was intended to establish committees within the governments at each of these levels to plan the work of local 11 Wu, Yuan-li and Sheeks, Robert, The Organization and Support o] Scientific Research and Development in Mainland China (New York: Praeger, 1970), p. 76. Chu-yuan Cheng refers to this plan in connection with the development of long-range missiles. See ' A Threat to the United States in another 5 or 6 Years ', US News and World Report (14 November, 1966), pp. 52 and 57. 1~ The lower figure is from Orleans, Leo A., 'Research and Development in Communist China ', Science, CLVII (28 July, 1967), pp. 392-400. The higher estimate is from Wu, Yuan4i and Sheeks, Robert, op. cit., Chap V. The exchange rate used is 2.4 yuan--$1. Wu and Sheeks, loc. cit., conjecture that total expenditure on research and development in China in 1965 was between 4 and 6 billion yuan, or over 3 per cent. of GNP. ~a Again the lower estimate is from Orleans, the higher from Wu and Sheeks. 14 Schurmann, Franz, Ideology and Organization in Communist China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), p. 184.
Genevieve Dean and Manfredo Macioti
research institutes. However, when this general trend was reversed at the end of the Great Leap Forward, and a policy of centralisation was again instituted, many of' these 10eal scientific bodies were amalgamated into larger institutions. The State Council's Scientific and Technological Commission is known to have existed through 1965, After February i966, the Chinese press began to refer exclusively to a National Defence Scientific and Technological Commission, which has usually been described as an organ of the People's Liberation Army.!5 Nieh Jung-chen, chairman of the earlier commission, continued to head the new Defence Scientific and Technological Commission, the replacement of civilian by military organs of administration was a characteristic feature of this period. 16 After 1968, there are no references to either the State Council's Scientific and Technological Commission or to the National Defence Scientific and Technological Commission. I n May 1971, a Scientific and Educational Group under the State Council was announced, when its chairman, Li Ssu-kuang, died and was Succeeded by Liu Hsi-yao. 17 Liu is known as a party member with experience in the administration of science and technology. Nieh Jung-chen retains his position as deputy prime minister, but it is not known whether he still heads the Science and Technology Commission, nor, indeed whether the Commission still exists. Nor are the present functions of the Scientific and Educational Group known, It seems likely that, since 1966, decisions in the field of science policy, like those on economic policy, tended to be put in very general terms, setting only very broad targets for rather short periods, and were probably taken on a n ad hoc basis. Data on expenditures in science and on the numbers of sciemists since th e beginning o f the Cultural Revolution are almost non-existent. According to remarks made to a Western economist visiting China by Kuo Mo-jo,l~ China's $otal budget for science in 1965--presumably including higher education--was of the order of 3 per cent. of gross national product, with the ratio of central to provincial expenditure being two to three. T h e disruption of higher educational institutions must have curtailed the numbers of students graduating in scientific and technical subjects. O n e 15 In ' M a o Tse-tung's Thought is the Victorious Banner for Scaling the Heights of National Defence Sci6nce~and TechnOlogy', Peking Review, No. 42 (14 October 1966), pp. 16-17, and Lindbeck, John M. H., 'Chinese science: it's not a PaPer Atom ', New York Times Magazin~e (8 January, 1967)i pp, 38'39, 60 62, 64, 67, 70, this body is identified as an organ of t h e People's Liberation Army. Chang; Parris H., ' China's Scientists in the Cultural Revolution ', Bulletin o/ the Atomic SCientists, XXV, 5 (May; 1969), pp. 19-20, 40, identifies it as an organ of 'the Chinese Communist Party. 9 1~ Nieh Jung-chen held t h e rank of marshal ~prior to the abolition Of ranks in the People's Liberation A r m y . .. 17 China News Summary, No. 425 (Hong Kong 6 .July, 1972). Liu was first identified as head o f the Scientific a n d Educational Group by the New China News Agency on 1 July, 1972 is Private communication . . . .
Scientific Institutions in China
estimate 19 puts the number of engineers in China in mid-1970 at about 600,000, of whom perhaps 50 per cent. had had less than four years of undergraduate higher education; the number of scientists, most of whom had completed a standard undergraduate curriculum, was put at 110,000. Kuo Mo-jo, on the occasion mentioned, gave a ratio of five persons in medicine, pharmacy, veterinary and agricultural sciences, to three in technical sciences (including defence), and to two in physics, mathematics and social sciences.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development Following the reorganisation of the scientific institutions of China in the early years of the People's Republic, scientific research was conducted mainly in four sectors : the Chinese Academy of Sciences and its branches; the research institutes attached to various ministries of the central government and to departments of provincial and local government; the research institutes attached to industrial enterprises; and universities and colleges. Having been superseded in its role as the promulgator of science policy by the State Council's Scientific Planning Commission in 1954, the Chinese Academy of Sciences ~hen became responsible for the coordination, direction and performance of research, particularly fundamental or basic research. When, in 1957, it was proposed to decentralise the administration and performance of research, the Academy was assigned the task of doing fundamental research and research which required coordination of the work of several units, and otherwise, to be ' a n honorary organisation for scientists and a national guiding centre.' 20 During the Cultural Revolution, the Academy reported research in each of the years from 1965 to 1970, which suggests that i t predominated among China's research institutions. The Academy was organised into five departments: life sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, technical sciences, and social sciences. These departments were organised into a number of research institutes and regional branches. The precise number of Academy institutes has never been officially stated, ~1 although it has been estimated that in 1964-65 some 20,000 scientists were working in about 120 of the Academy's research institutes. ~2 At ;he end of 1967 and 1968, the army 19 Orleans, Leo A., 'China's Science and Technology: Continuity and Innovation '. in U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, People's Republic o/ China: A n Economic Assessment (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972), pp. 185-219. 20 Nieh Jung-chen, as reported by New China News Agency, 13 June; 1957. 21 See Wu, Yuan-li and Sheeks, Robert, op. cir., p. 255, for a comparison of different estimates of the number of research institutes in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 22 See Hambraeus, Gunnar, ' Experience in China Just Now ', Teknik och lndustri i Kina, Report 44 (Stockholm: Ingenj6rsvetenskapsakademien~ t972), for the number of research institutes; Guillermaz, Jacques, op. cit., gives the number of scientists. This may be compared with 234 research ins.ti~utes in the Soviet. Academy of Sciences and a staff of 35,000.
Genevieve Dean and Manfredo Macioti
was reported to have ' e n t e r e d ' some units of the Academy, causing serious disruption of researchY 3 This was probably an action to re-impose a structure of authority in institutes where the members were unable to agree among themselves on a 'revolutionary' way to make decisions and administer the institutes. During the Cultural Revolution, it was also reported that the Academy of Sciences had formed a 'revolutionary great alliance', ' t h e revolutionary 3-in-1 combination' and a 'revolutionary committee'Y4 The new scheme for arriving at decisions included representatives of different groups of members of the Academy; in many cases, positions of authority in the new arrangement were probably Occupied b y individuals who had previously held the corresponding administrative posts. Kuo Mo-jo, for example, continues to head the Academy. A recent report 25 describes the Academy's Revolutionary Committee as being composed of representatives of ' t h e old, the middle-aged and the young' and of 'workers, peasants and military men ', as well as of 'intellectuals and administrators ' The Revolutionary Committee has about 30 members. The trend toward decentralisation of authority in science policy is also expressed in the shift of some institutes of the Academy of Sciences from the central Academy of Sciences to the authority of provincial governments, although it is not known what kinds of science policy bodies have been established within these provincial governments. One visitor to China z6 suggests that only about 40 per cent. of t h e Academy's former institutes are now attached to the central Academy and 60 per cent. are now under provincial authority; another recent visitor 27 says that 33 per cent. are centrally controlled and that 67 per cent. are under provincial control. 2s Before the Cultural Revolution, the Academies of Medical Sciences and of Agricul,tural Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences were autonomous institutions; they conducted nine research institutes of the Ministry of Public Health and seven institutes of the Ministry of Agriculture, respectively.29 Since then, not much has been heard of these two academies and recent French reports 3o seem to doubt whether they still exist. 23 Work in the social sciences and humanities may have been more severely interrupted during the Cultural Revolution than research in the natural and physical sciences. The Academy of Sciences is now setting up a new section on the social sciences, according to Hambraeus, Gunnar, op. cit. 24 Conroy, Richard, Chronology ol Activities O] Scientific Institutions in China, 19651970, unpublished mimeographed report prepared for the Study Group on Science and Technology in China's Developmen t, Universi~ty of Sussex, January, 1972, 14 pp. 25 Hambraeus, Gunnar, op. cit. 2~ Terrill, Ross, in 800,000,000: The Real China (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1971), states that K u o Mo-jo put the number of institutes in the Academy of Sciences at 100. 27 Hambraeus, Gunnar, op. cir. 2s A private communication indica,tes that, of six botanical institutes in the Academy of Sciences in 1966, for example, only one is still part of the Academy. 29 Wu, Yuan-li and Sheeks, Robert, op. cit., pp. 240-241. a0 Private communication.
Scientific Institutions in China
Other ministries of the central government which used to conduct research institutes were those for the building, building materials, chemical, coal, communication, metallurgy, petroleum and textile industries; the Ministries of Aquatic Products, Forestry, Geology, Post and Telecommunications, Railways, Water Conservation and Electric Power; and the Bureaux of Meteorology and of Broadcasting Affairs. Furthermore, three of the eight Ministries of Machine Building had substantial research programmes; the second was apparently responsible for atomic energy; the fourth, for electronics and telecommunications; and the seventh for aircraft and missiles, sl Only 12 reports concerning research in these institutes are to be found in Chinese publications between 1965 and 1970.35 Following the reorganisation and restarting of China's governmental institutions, it is likely that many of these ministries have been merged or otherwise reduced, s~ although there is no conclusive evidence about the scale of their research activity. Finally, an autonomous system of research institutes, operated by the Ministry of Defence, constituted the Academy of Military Sciences, though we know nothing of its status today. In the industrial sector, the Anshan and Wuhan iron and steel trusts are thought to operate research institutes. It is surmised that other enterprises must have their own research facilities, ranging from more or less fully equipped laboratories to makeshift arrangements for experimentation. Cooperative arrangements between enterprises were supposed to extend these facilities to plants and factories not conducting their own research and development activities. During the Cultural Revolution, there were numerous reports of technological innovations in Chinese industry, but only 12 of these referred specifically to the origins of such innovations in research. Research carried out in institutions of higher education is thought to have been quite limited in volume and importance, s4 Hence the closure of universities during the Cultural Revolution, in itself, is likely to have had relatively little effect on current research in China. Since the Cultural Revolution, it has been reported that the research institutes of the Academy of Sciences are working particularly closely with the universities, ss 3~ Cheng, Chu-yuan, ' Growth and Structural Changes in the Chinese Machine-Building Industry ', The China Quarterly, No. 41 (January-March, 1970), pp. 26-57. In the Directory o] Selected Scientific Institutions in Mainland China (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1970), five research institutes are attributed to the First Ministry of Machine Building, and one to the Second Ministry, pp. 186-189. z3 Conroy, Richard, op. cit. 33 According to Current Scene, X, 7: (July, 1972), p. 12, the administrative structure has been streamlined by reducing the number of ministries from 40 to 17, ' c o m m i s s i o n s ' from 11 to 3, and 'special b o d i e s ' from 21 to 15. 34 Of 40 medical colleges, the Directory o] Selected Scientific Institutions in Mainland China lists 34 as conducting research. Twenty-seven out of 61 engineering and technical colleges, 32 out of 38 agricultural colleges, and 19 out of 30 general universities are listed in the same source as doing research. 35 For example, Hambraeus, Gunnar, op. cit.; Wilson, J. Tuzo, ' M a o ' s Almanac ', Saturday Review (19 February, 1972), pp. 60-64.
Genevieve Dean and Man[redo Macioti
During the Cultural Revolution, research to meet the needs of agricultural and industrial production and defence was emphasised. Research institutes were urged to combine production with research and even to establish their own factories--an effort to reduce the gap between research and production, and possibly to provide pilot-plants separate from regular factories and plants, which must meet routine production norms. Recent visitors to China observe that two criteria are now applied in the selection of research projects: the research must lead to results--that is, there must be some certainty of success; and it must meet particular economic, industrial or agricultural needs? 6 It is also reported by visitors that there is virtually no basic research in China? 7 Nonetheless, announcements of research into the structure of insulin 88 and the reports of archaeological excavations between 1966 and 1969 89 indicate that the interpretation of these criteria may be very flexible. Furthermore, some major technological developments carried out recemly in China indicate the existence of long-term research plans with a marked emphasis on basic research. The three tests of nuclear bombs, the synthesis of urea, the invention of a fermentation de-waxing method in 1966, development of a medium-sized transistor computer, a solar radio-lelescope, China's first hydrogen bomb in 1967, the manufacture of fully automatic milling equipment, the development of a quadruple mass spectrometer and of a strain of high-yielding kaoliang (sorghum) in 1968, and, in 1970, production of a high resolution electron microscope 4~ to indicate that a certain amount of basic research has been going on. C. N. Yang noted in 1971, and again in 1972, a strong interest in high energy physics21 and C. C. Lin learned recently that some 30 students were specialising in astrophysics at the University of Nanking. 42 On the whole, our impression is tha~t while there may well be no ' p u r e ' basic research in China, very likely a certain amount of 'oriented' basic research continues.
Higher Education and the Training of Scientists and Technologists After 1949, higher education in China was reorganised along Soviet lines. This mean~ that engineering and vocational technological courses were removed from the university curriculum and taught in separate institutions. In 1958, 11 such polytechnic universities taught a range of courses in the applied sciences, engineering and technical fields, and 40 engineering colleges, most of them established after 1949, offered training in either 36 Hambraeus, Gunnar, ' Science and Technology in China after the Cultural Revo.lution ', Tidskri]t ]or Teknisk-Vetenskaplig Farskning, XLIII, 4 (1972), PP. 149-154. zz This view is expressed in Galstort, Arthur W., ' N o Grades, N o Tests ', Yale Alumni Magazine, XXXV, 7 (April, 1972), pp. 8-11. ~8 New China News Agency, 26 September, 1971. 39 New China News Agency, 24 July, 1971. ao Conroy, Richard, op. tit. 41 Lubkin, Gloria B., 'Physics in China ', Physics Today, XXV, 12 (December, 1972), pp. 23-28. 4z lbid, p. 27.
Scientific Institutions in China
one or a limi,ted number of special fields of engineering and related applied sciences. Courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, geography, botany, zoology and astronomy were taught in 17 universities? ~ The typical university has been described as being composed of departments, 'specialties ', 'specialisations' and 'research seminars ', although it is not known how these compare with the divisions of Western universities. Peking University, for example, had 19 departments, 28 specialties, 8 specialisations and 84 research institutes and seminars in 1967.4~ During the Great Leap Forward, a number of new universities, polytechnics and engineering colleges were established. Many of these were hastily set up, however, with inadequate equipment and facilities--the exception being the University of Science and Technology, jointly established by the Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education. By the end of 1963, the higher educational system included about 400 universities and colleges?~ From 1953 r 1958, and from 1964 on, these institutions were under a separate Ministry for Higher Education; during the Great Leap Forward, responsibility for all levels of education was held by a single ministry. In 1962-63, enrolment in institutions of higher learning was 820,000. Of 200,000 graduates in that year, 77,000 were in engineering and 10,000 in the natural sciences?' The estimate for 1964-65 was 60,000 engineering graduates and 10,000 science graduates, 47 and similar figures would probably be true also for 1965-66. Advanced training for postgraduate scientists and engineers took place in the research institutes of the Academy of Sciences and in university postgraduate schools. Postgraduate training in research institutes of the Academy of Sciences began in 1955.4s Four hundred postgraduate students were taking courses in the Academy in 1963, and 99 had already graduated. 49 Over 800 postgraduate students were enrolled at 160 institutions of higher education and research institutes in the same year, s~ and it was anticipated that 190 institutions would conduct postgraduate training in 1964.21 In addition, a significant number of China's most highly 4~ Cheng, Chu-yuan, Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Commun&t China (Washington: National Science Foundation, 1965), pp. 40-41. a4 Tsien, Tche-hao, L'Enseignement sup~rieur et la recherche scientifique en Chine popuIaire (Paris: Librairie Grnrrale de Droit e~ de Jurisprudeaace, 1971), p. 36. 45 Of these, 21 were universities, 15 were polytechnics, and about 100 were engineering colleges. There were 142 medical and 97 agricultural colleges in 1959-60, according to Cheng, Chu-yan, op. cit., pp. 41-53. aa Ibid., pp. 74, 78. 4r Orleans, Leo A., ' R e s e a r c h and Development in Communist China: Mood, Management and Measurement ', in A n Economic Profile o[ Mainland China (New York: Praeger, 196S), pp. 549-578. 4s People's Daily (Peking), 2 September, 1962; translated in Survey o] the China Mablland Press (Hong K o n g : U.S. Consulate), No. 2827. ~9 New China News Agency, 29 January, 1963. 50 New China News Agency, 15 October, 1963. 51 New China News Agency, 13 October, 1963.
Genevieve Dean and Manfredo Macioti
trained scientists have studied abroad. They include scientists who had returned to China from Europe, the United States or Japan---China's foremost nuclear and rocketry research scientists are among these--as well as younger scientists whose training had been obtained in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe between 1950 and 1966, and in Western Europe between 1962 and 1966. A new system of 'spare-time' vocational training was inaugurated during the Great Leap Forward, in which schools were run either by regular institutions of higher education, by factories, by local government authorities, or by trade unions. The purpose of these institutions was to provide both specialised technological training and general education to both experienced and young, skilled industrial workers. Education in these institutions, however, was described by one observer as having been much inferior to that in full-time institutions; their contribution to science and technology has been dismissed as negligible? 2 The practical effect of the two systems was to produce two groups of technologists, with two distinct kinds of qualifications. In the Great Leap Forward, the graduates of the 'spare-time' schools were promoted to positions of authority in factories, and, in the early 1960s, some of these apparently still held positions of responsibility. The political conflict which resulted between technologists and engineers with conventional academic qualifications, and those whose education has been obtained in the 'spare-time' system, is quite probably at the root of many of the 'reforms' of the Cultural Revolution. But it i s also possible to infer a more pragmatic motive to these institutional changes. The scientists and highly-qualified engineers and technicians who were 'sent down '--the Chinese term is hsia Iang--to farms and fields or shop floors in factories--may perform some manual labour, but they are also encouraged to use their particular skills and knowledge and technical training to improve the agricultural techniques and industrial technologies they encounter. In a social and political atmosphere like that of the Cultural Revolution, where the practical application of theoretical knowledge is stressed, this opportunity to contribute to the 'construction of socialism' might be welcomed by the scientists, who would not necessarily feel that such ' l a b o u r ' conflicted with their role and status as scientists. Where economic policy required technological innovation in sectors of the economy which lacked scientific and technical manpower, like agriculture, hsia fang might have been an effective means of reallocating human resources and bringing scientists face-to-face with concrete production problems. The most far-reaching experiments of the Cultural Revolution occurred in higher education. These experiments included the establish' ment of new kinds of institutions and the reorganisation of existing 52 Cheng, Chu-yuan, op. cit., p. 161.
Scientific Institutions in China
institutions, the training of new types of scientists and technologists, and the 'remoulding' of technical personnel in conformity with prevailing ideas on integrating scientific and technological funotions with production. Mao Tse-tung's directive of 7 May, 1966, set the keynote for educational reforms to be undertaken in the Cultural Revolution? 3 In this directive, he specified that students should undertake industrial, agricultural and military work in addition to their academic course work, the length of the period of formal education should be shortened, and in general 'education should be revolutionised '. The first model for the new educational institutions became the ' M a y 7th Commune' of T'ungchi University, a university of science and technology specialising in civil engineering. According to proposals made by 'revolutionary teachers and students' of T'ung-chi University and published in the People's Daily (3 November, 1967), the new structure of the university was to consist of a 'tuitional unit ', a designing unit and a building unit, so that study would be integrated with practical design and construction work. Existing departments and teaching-research groups were to be abolished and replaced by specialised committees, each drawing its members from the three units. The object of these reforms was to emphasise the training of middlelevel technologists and engineers, whose skills were suited to current levels of industrial technology, rather than to invest in the education of highly sophisticated scientists, Various changes in curricula were also discussed, centering around the elimination of courses in basic theory, in order to concentrate on specialised training for specific production operations. The students were to acquire practical experience, as part of the curriculum, by working in factories established within the schools, and in regular production units. In July 1968, Mao Tse-tung proposed a second institutional model for the vocational training of engineering and technical manpower, the Shanghai Machine Tools Plant. In this model, practical experience was made a prerequisite of formal technical training. Thus, students in engineering and technical schools were to be selected from among experienced workers and middle school graduates with two to five years of industrial experience. College graduates would supplement their formal training with 'practical technical knowledge' acquired by performing manual labour before taking up technical positions, Entrance examinations for postgraduate training in universities and academic and scientific institutions were announced for the spring of 1966, but on 13 June, the Central Committee of the party and the State Council postponed enrolment for higher educa,tion for half a year, while changes were being made in the entrance examinations. Formal education, in the event, was 5a A version of the text appears in Chen, Jerome, Mao Papers (London: Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 103-105.
Genevieve Dean and Manfredo Macioti
virtually suspended for more than two years. In July, 1968, teams of workers and soldiers began to enter the universities to establish a new administrative order in the chaotic situations which had developed in many of them. The first team was set up at Tsinghua University. In the autumn of 1970, many universities re-opened with a small, carefully selected body of students. At Peking University, where there had been 9,000 students, the class of September 1970 was about 2,700. At Futan University in Shanghai, which formerly had about 9,000 students, the new class of November 1970 was about 1,200 students. 54 The intention has been to return gradually to the level of enrolment of the period before the Cultural Revolution. In the autumn of 1972 for example, Tsinghua University had 4,500 students and a teaching staff of 2,600, one third of whom were doing research and writing manuals. The student body is intended to grow to 9,000 over the next two to three years) 5 Similarly, Peking University was reported to have had 4,200 students at the end of 1972 for the same number of teachers (2,100) it had before the Cultural Revolution. By 1974, the enrolment is expected to be raised to 10,000.58 None of these students has come directly from secondary school, but has entered the college or university only after a period of two to three years of working on a farm or in a factory. Courses which were five or six years in length are now two or three, or, in a few cases, such as theoretical physics, four years. Some courses are being taught by worker and peasant 'innovators '. Although their instruction may consist largely of political indoctrination, their presence is also a device to link classroom study with concrete production problems. Responsibility for the Chinese universities--previously exercised by the Mini,'stry for Higher Education--now apparently rests with revolutionary committees of the cities in which the universities have their seats.
Scientific and Technical Information Between 40 and 50 professional societies were organised in the Chinese Scientific and Technological Association, which, in addition to sponsoring some research, also published journals and held meetings and conventions at which the formal and informal exchange of information could take place. Most, if not all, of these professional societies are believed to have resumed activity since the end of the Cultural Revolution, under the control of the Scientific and Educational Group? 7 By 1966, scientific 54 Terrill, Ross, o p . cir., p. 120. According to this author, the student body of Canton's Sun Yat-sen University was 547, as opposed to 4,700 before the Cultural Revolution; there were 440 students enrolled at H u n a n Normal College, compared to a previous enrolment of 6,00O. 55 Private communication. 5a Lubkin, Gloria B., o p . cit., p. 23. 5z Berberet, John A., ' Science and Technology in China ', C u r r e n t S c e n e , X, 9 (September, 1972), pp. 12-19.
Scientific Institutions in China
publications in China comprised about 475 scientific and technical journals: 164 in the physical sciences, 137 in technology, 65 in agriculture, 57 in medicine and 51 in the life sciences. ~s There were a dozen important publishing houses for science and technology active in China in the early 1960s; these included the Science Press of the Academy of Sciences, the Science Diffusion Press and the China Industry Press. 5a New book titles in 1958 included 1,029 books on the natural sciences, 2,375 in engineering and technology, 930 on medicine and 75 on agriculture. 6~ In 1965, there were 2,000 new titles in technology, 630 in science, 480 in agriculture and 310 in medicine. ~1 During the Cultural Revolution, publication of China's conventional scientific journals came to a halt. Fifty-seven publications continued into 1967, 10 into 1968, and none were published in 196972 But in April 1971, publication of a new journal, Scientific Experiment (Koxue Shiyen) was announced. 6s Since the summer of 1972, pamphlets, books and journals on Chinese medicine and archaeology have become available, a n d recent visitors to China have seen the inaugural issue of Scientia Sinica (Zhongguo Koxue), which resumed publication in July 1972. Communication among Chinese scientists during the Cultural Revolution must have been largely at meetings and conferences, which were called to discuss politics and science policy as well as substantive scientific matters. National conferences on chemical fertilisers, metallurgy, and public health and medicine indicate the predominance of economic interests in these meetings. A limited form of publication seems to have occurred in the circulation of informally reproduced scientific and technological papers, distributed to important institutions and individuals+ 6+ Foreign scientific publications were extensively collected, starting from the early years of the People's Republic. From the importation of Soviet publications in the 1950s, this effort developed in the 1960s into the exchange of publications with scientific institutions in the United States and Japan. In 1965, the two principal Chinese institutions exchanging scientific and technical books and periodicals with other countries were the National Library of Peking and the Institute of Scientific and Technical ~8 Jaubert, Alain, 'Recherche et developpemer~t en Chine ', La Rechemhe , I!, 11 (April, 1971), pp. 339-349. 59 Nunn, G. Raymond, Publishing in Mainland China (Cambridge, Mass. : The MIT Press, 1966), pp. 29-309 + 80 Liu, Alan P. L., Book Publishing in Communist China (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1965). 81 Sigurdson, Jon, Naturvetenskap och Teknik i Kina (Stockholm: Ingenjrrvetenskapakademien, 1968), pp. 67-82. 82 Jaubert, Alain, op. cir. 88 Translations of FarEastern Broadcasts, FE/3676/i (London: BBC Publications, April, 1971). This journal was to be devoted to publicising ' t h e achievements of workers, peasants and soldiers in carrying out scientific experiments and technical innovations '. It is not officially circulated outside China. 6~ Orleans, Leo A., ' C h i n a ' s science and Technology: Continuity and Innovation '. 9 . . pp. 185-219.
Genevieve Dean and Man[redo Macior
-Information of the Chinese Academy o f Sciences.'5 There was also a China Committee for Compilation a n d Translation of Foreign Scientific and Technical Documents. 66 Foreign scientific and technological publications Continued to be sent to Chinese subscribers throughout the Cultural Revolution, 67 although all other forms of direct communication between Chinese and foreign scientists were completely broken off until 1971. Chinese scientists9 did not participate in international scientific conferences and meetings at which the Nationalist Chinese government on Formosa was represented. This led to China's refusal to cooperate in the International Geophysical Year in 19592 In 1964 and 1966, however, physics colloquia were convened in Peking, to which the Chinese invited foreign participants. Other forms of bilateral relations with foreign scientists flourished until the Cultural Revolution. From 1965 to 1969, the number of international agreements on scientific and technological cooperation signed by China declined, although it began increasing again in 1971. In the same year, visits to China by foreign scientists, which had been numerous before the Cultural Revolution, resumed; now they included American scientists as well. There were visits in 1972 to the United States, Britain, Sweden and Canada by delegations of Chinese scientists from the life and medical sciences, computer technology, and a number of other disciplines.
Other Scientific Activities The functions of testing and standardisation have been the responsibility of the central government's Bureau o f Standards. During the Great Leap Forward, the goal in economic policy was to increase the quantity of production, rather than to raise product quality, and testing and standardisation, which were regarded as conflicting with this priority, were suspended. From 196t onward, however, renewed emphasis was given to the role of these activities in mass production. The collection of 'general purpose' data, i.e., 'the non-research activities of museums, botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserves, technical survey work and resources survey activity, and social and economic data collection and analysis ,68 has been undertaken by the 65 A branch 0f the Peking Information Institute in Chungking specialised in aerospace information f r o m Russia, Western Europe, the United States and Japan, according to Chuyuan Cheng; ~See interview with him in US News and World Report (14 November, 1966), pp. 52 and 57. ~ Kuang-Ming Daily (Peking), 28 July, i963 ; translated in Survey o] the China Mainland Press, No. 3045. Br Signer, Ethan and Galstan, Arthur W., ' Education and Science in China ', Science, CLXXV, 4017 (7 January, 1972), pp. 15-23. report runs of standard scientific journals to within three months in the Biochemistry and Plazat Physiology Institutes in Shanghai. Hofsten, Bengt v o n , ' Kemi och Pofitik in Foikrepubliken Kina ', Kemisk Tidskrilt, N01 11 (1972), pp. 30-32, notes the existence of a scientific abstracts service. as The definitions of scientific :activities used in this paper are derived from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, The Measurement o] Scientific and Technical Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys o/Research and Experimental Development (Paris: OECD, 1970).
Scientific Institutions in China
State Statistical Bureau, the Bureau of Standards, other government ministries, and the Committee on Comprehensive Expeditions of the Academy of Sciences. Botanical gardens, aquaria, and observatories were maintained by the Academy of Sciences. The Academy of Sciences sponsored scientific expeditions in surveying Mount Jolmo Lungma (Mount Everest) in 1966 and 1967.69 In September 1968, observations of a solar eclipse were made by a team composed of members of the Peking Astronomical Observatory, the Purple Mountain Observatory, the Institute of Geophysics, the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, the Central Meteorological Bureau, higher educational institutions and the National Defence Science and Technology Commission. 7~ There are no other reports of collection of data by scientific institutions. The dissemination of general scientific knowledge became the responsibility of the Scientific and Technological Association in 1958, when the Association for the Dissemination of Scientific and Technical Knowledge was fused with the Federation of Natural Science Societies. General scientific knowledge was disseminated through the educational system and by means of films, exhibits and popular publications. This activity seems to have been resumed since the Cultural Revolution; this may be seen in the recent reports of popular technical literature available in Peking bookshops. A popular text in general science, A Hundred Thousand Questions, (Shi Wange Weishenme), was issued in a new edition in 1970.
The Common Theme of Chinese Science Policy China's science policy should not be assessed apart from its goal of social and economic development. The policies governing scientific research and auxiliary scientific activities are shaped by the choices of technology and by the direction of technological change prescribed in economic and social plans. Changes and shifts in the emphasis of science policy follow changes in economic strategy. A general review of science policy and scientific activities in China, in the light of economic development policies, supports the view that there is continuity an d rationality in Chinese science policy. The objective of the five-year plan for economic development (1953-57) was to establish a capital goods industry in China. Modern, state-owned and centrally managed enterprises in the heavy industries were expandedduring this period on the basis of technology imported from the Soviet Union, while the main objective of the policy for science was to build up China's capacity to perform its own research and development. Centralisation of the institutions necessary for Scientific and technological development in China was consistent with an economic strategy which focused on the centralised capital goods industries. 69 , Chinese Scientists Survey World's Highest Peak ', Peking Review, 4 (26 January, 1968), pp. 12-15. T0 , China's Brilliant Success in Large-Scale Comprehensive Observation of a Total Solar Eclipse ', Peking Review, 5 (31 January, 1969), pp. 10-12.
Genevieve Dean and Man[redo Macioti
The assumptions underlying this policy were first challenged, however, in the Hundred Flowers campaign of 1957. Soliciting criticism from the intellectuals, the Chinese Communist Party discovered that, in fact, the development of science did not automatically result in the desired economic, social, and political changes. In 1957 and 1958, changes in economic policy connected with the Great Leap Forward imposed demands for new kinds of technological processes for agriculture and light industry which Chinese scientists were unable to devise, and which could not be imported from abroad. With the Great Leap Forward, the relationship of science to the economy and society in China was reversed: social and economic needs were expected to set the tasks and direction of scientific development, rather than the other way about. Accordingly, the objective in science policy, from about 1957 to about 1961, was to apply existing scientific resources to the particular technological requirements prescribed by new economic policies, rather than to extend science itself any further. Before any of the new forms of scientific institutions devised during the Great Leap Forward could be consolidated, however, the balance of political power in China shifted again. Soviet scientific and technical assistance to the capital goods industries was abruptly withdrawn in 1960, and a leading role in replacing this loss fell to China's scientists. China's scientific and technological institutions and conventional scientific activities expanded in the next few years--as a number of important achievements in research and in military and industrial technology demonstrated. There has been a genuine continuity in science policy since the Great Leap Forward. The policy of 'walking on two legs' in economic and technological development, as well as some of the institutional forms associated with the Great Leap Forward, continued during the 1960s. Has the Cultural Revolution interrupted the development of modern science in China? The fragmentary evidence supports the view that there have not been radical changes in China's scientific institutions or science policy since the mid-1960s. The Cultural Revolution, like the Great Leap Forward, was an attempt to direct scientific research toward a specific set of social and technological goals. The objective of science policy in the Cultural Revolution was to direct scientific research toward the technological requirement s of agriculture and light industry in the rural areas, and to develop the medical and other techniques suited to conditions in the countryside. For these purposes, the formal structures of the institutions which plan, direct, and carry out research and development seem to have remained essentially unchanged. There has been a change in the scientific activities involved in research and development, and in the institutions through which technological requirements are communicated to those who do research a n d which impose upon the scientists a responsibility for solving particular economic and social problems.
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|Original Title:||Poorly Made in China: An Insiders Account of the Tactics Behind Chinas Production Game|
|Number Of Pages:||241 pages|
|First Published in:||March 23rd 2009|
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