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This blog wishes it be known that the opinions presented herein are the sole responsibility of the author, and do not represent the feelings, opinions, ideas, or conclusions of any affiliated organization or group. Additionally, the author has chosen to keep the blog confidential during the Olympic Games 2008, as the reaction of the PRC towards foreign opinion remains ungauged. Thanks for reading.
Beijingfuturesdreams, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

China Trend Analysis II : 11 Categories of Advanced Technology, part II

VI. The final six technologies of the USNSB categorization

The last six categories of Advanced Technologies are high on China’s priority list, and some analysts believe them to be integrated with emphasis into the next Five-year plan of the PRC. Listed below are the category titles, and any trends of note, or anomaly events of interest. Again, we highly encourage readers of the blog to conduct further research, and post comments as you feel necessary.

1) Biotechnology
Biotechnology in the People’s Republic of China is well kept secret, and an expensive one to research on a short time scale. Currently, market reports and analytical data from various groups costs anywhere from $600 - $5000 (USD). Perhaps a paltry sum for most investors looking to get in at China’s potential explosive power in Biotech, but a rather steep set of figures for this poor graduate students. Anyone looking to donate a set of these materials will be given due mention in the pages to follow. And deep gratitude. And invitations to my annual Dubai getaway starting ten years from now ☺.

2) Life Sciences Technology
Development of the life sciences technologies and research in the PRC runs roughly parallel to that of Biotech. Both industries have grown quietly during the past twenty years, but due to low cost of startup, many established global companies are beginning to build life sciences R&D facilities in China, while domestic startups dot the market scene.
The highly touted return of western-trained scientists has become an increasingly hot topic, as the boom in Chinese scientific papers and claims reaches the academic and private research audience. Though a majority of findings seem to be accurate, and well documented, a growing number of faulty research claims, and questionable products has entered the marketplace.
However, the facilities being constructed in China coupled with another series of policy shifts and the accompanying budgets could usher in China’s leadership of global Life Sciences and Biotech industries.

3) Optoelectronics
China’s Optoelectronic Industry has maintained a growth rate of approximately 20 percent over the past 6 years, mainly driven by the sales of displays for computers, mobile technologies, and the automotive industry.
As a producer, and consumer, the PRC continues to pursue better manufacturing techniques, and innovative uses for optoelectronics as part of its 863 programs.

4) Flexible Manufacturing
Due to China’s role as global producer, flexible manufacturing systems and techniques are of increasing importance. For it to maintain its position, and the economic growth that has enabled its rise in wealth and influence, it must continue to be a viable source of the latest manufacturing modes. As rumors of a decline in foreign investment circulate, China is importing large amounts of intellectual property concerning the production of global and local goods.
Flexible manufacturing allows for multiple components to be produced from a single manufacturing line, and beyond that multiple products can issue from a single factory. These products include: sheet metals, circuit boards, plastics, and a host of other necessary components for our everyday lives. With flexible manufacturing, factories can shift identities faster, and in accord with shifting market demands.

5) Weapons
China is one of the top three weapons suppliers for the United States, and considering the United States defense budget this reflects a large revenue stream for the PRC. The state of the weapons industry, and China’s strategic technological push in defense, makes this study of comparable value. While more market and industry based reports may adhere to numeric trends, the relative secrecy surrounding such figures, makes most information suspect concerning how much is being produced, and where that product is going.

Beijing’s policies concerning defense development were fairly well outlined in the first trend analysis of July, but a brief recap of the various technological advances will follow. This report will include some novelty, and various speculative points of view.

Anti-Satellite testing in January of 2007 was successful and legal according to China’s “space” status at that time. China is equipped with Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, that can be armed with nuclear warheads. It is highly regarded that wars of information and asymmetrical attack may be the future of warfare – leading to the idea that Chinese defense department hackers have targeted U.S. strategic grids and communications networks. Due to the relatively advanced state of the biotechnology industry and research in China, it is taken as evident that a chemical weapons R&D department exists, and perhaps has an inventory.

6) Nuclear Technology
China purchases Nuclear Technology from Russia, and other nuclear capable nations. Additional to weapons capabilities, nuclear technologies are being developed for use in China’s proposed nuclear power program. This program looks to build upwards of 30 nuclear power plants by the year 2020. Though these plants would be nearly irrelevant in terms of China’s quickly growing national energy consumption, but they are likely to be built. These nuclear power plants will be based on safer pellet technologies.

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