In China, innovation has become one of those political buzzwords which - like harmony - seems to mean anything and everything to the Central Propaganda Department. So much so that we find it difficult to walk down the streets in Beijing now without getting accosted by giant character banners encouraging us to economic feats of creative daring. But how much of what passes for innovation in China is actually the least bit innovative?

To help Sinica answer this question, this week Kaiser and Jeremy are pleased to be joined by Tom Saunders, a researcher and policy analyst at the Nesta think-tank on innovation who is in Beijing as part of a high-level British delegation focused on strengthening economic ties with China. More importantly, Tom is also the author of a recent report on China's Absorptive State: innovation and research in China, a report which tries to make sense of how much innovation in China is genuine, and what this means for the rest of the world.

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 said on
October 20, 2013


China may be in much better shape than it looks, by David Pilling for the FT


Sinosphere, the new China blog of the New York Times


Ikea or Death

 said on
October 25, 2013
Kaiser's casual dismissal of the multi-origin theory shows that he is tragically out of date with all the new and exciting results of anthropological research in recent years.

The discovery of Denisovans and subsequently the fact that modern humans carry both Neanderthal and Denisovan genes practically proves that the multi-origin theory is at least partially correct.

And the very latest research suggests that Neanderthals and homo sapiens have no common hominin ancestor, further strengthening the multi-origin theory.

Admittedly, neither Neanderthals nor Denisovans originates from China (as far as we know, though the suggested Denisovan range does include southeast China), but if the discovery about those two hominid species being our partial ancestors is this recent, we have every reason to believe there is more out there yet to be found.
 said on
October 29, 2013
The passive aggressive bickering between Kaiser and Jeremy is starting to get annoying. Can't these guys just let the guest speak without bringing the drama?
Mark Lesson Studied