[EDITORIALS]Technology and ChinaThe Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned that the technology gap between China and Korea has been narrowing and the technology leakage to China is at a level for concern. The technology difference between the two countries was found to be 4.6 years. The National Intelligence Service through its Web site said that industrial spies are bustling around Korea. Korea is stuck between Japan and China, and it can survive and prosper if only it succeeds in competiting both in technology and price at the same time.
Hu Jintao, China’s president, announced during the country’s National Science and Technology Conference earlier this year that China would become an innovative nation.
The Chinese president, with his vow to make the country independent of foreign technologies by 2020, showed China’s desire for technology.
This means China will change its economic structure from a labor-based economy to a technology-led economy. China’s State Council said it would invest more than 2 percent of China’s gross domestic product into research and development so that the nation’s dependency on foreign technologies is lowered to half of what it is today.
Recently China’s strong attachment to technology has been distinctive. China has persistently demanded that Hyundai turn over its automobile engine technology if it wanted a plant near Beijing. Hyundai, with no choice, decided to build the engine plant in Shandong province instead. China’s nervousness is because there is a limit to growth without technology.
China’s DVD exports were cut into half last year by the patent attacks from Philips and Sony. China’s initial idea that bringing foreign companies into the country would also lead to getting foreign technology was a mistake. Multinational companies avoid transferring technology to China and consider the country only a base for production and sales.
China’s technology drive is a crisis as well as an opportunity for Korea. It is a competitor as well as a cooperator. Korea’s exports of processed products to China exceeded $20 billion last year. The quality of Korean exported products improves as China’s technology standards go up.
We should try to maximize this circulating structure. We have to remember that Japan once used Korea’s economic development as the basis of its economic take-off. It is up to us whether the new technology-based China will be a land of opportunities once again.