Israeli model holds the answers to China’s quest for technology and innovation — Yasheng Huang

MIT Sloan Prof. Yasheng Huang

MIT Sloan Prof. Yasheng Huang

From South China Morning Post

It is widely understood that China needs to move from an investment-intensive growth model to one based on science, technology and innovation. But before I take up this subject, let me take a detour to tell a tale of two countries.

Both countries are small. One has a population of 5.5 million people; the other has a population of 8 million. In both countries, the dominant ethnic group is about 75 per cent of the population and minority groups make up the rest.

Both countries are rich. One country has a per capita gross domestic product of US$52,000 and the other country has a per capita GDP of US$35,000.

Both countries have faced existential security threats from the outside and armies in both countries have mandatory conscriptions. One country was actually kicked out and evicted by its now much larger neighbour, because the union would have threatened the political dominance of the main ethnic group. The second country is located in a region surrounded by hostile nations.

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Palestine 3.0

In his speech outlining his Administration’s post-Arab spring policy, President Obama included several references to non-violent protest, among them “the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.”

The President also spoke of the need to “build on our efforts to broaden our engagement beyond elites, so that we reach the people who will shape the future -– particularly young people. “

The question is, are his team and others around the world prepared for those two goals coming together in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

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