Which Nation Has the Best 'Technik'? | Harvard Business Review (Jun 2012)

By Ayesha and Parag Khanna The early 21st century looks to be a time when such geotechnology matters more than ever — outweighing traditional power determinants like geopolitics and geoeconomics. Indeed, China is a superpower today not because it has twice as many nuclear weapons as it had two decades ago, but rather because it has come to dominate manufacturing through manpower, ingenuity and espionage, has generated massive surpluses from it, and now invests those profits in military hardware and other advanced technologies. A decade from now we may look back at China's 12th Five-Year Plan as the seminal document of the early 21st century. It pledges $1.5 trillion in government support for seven "strategic emerging industries," including alternative energy, biotechnology, next-gen IT, high-end manufacturing equipment, and advanced materials. China invented none of these fields, but outstrips all competitors in attempting to improve and deploy them at scale.

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