Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Communist China, 1949-1963

Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Communist China, 1949-1963

Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Communist China, 1949-1963

Scientific and Engineering Manpower in Communist China, 1949-1963

Excerpt

Since the Chinese Communist assumption of power in 1949, researchers throughout the world have turned to the urgent task of evaluating key facets of developments on the Chinese mainland. Among their prime concerns are assessments of real and potential military power, the ambitious industrialization program, and Sino-Soviet relations. In turn, these questions raise crucial issues. Since China's human resources, particularly in the fields of science and technology, are determining factors in its economic growth and military preparedness, adequate knowledge of China's scientific manpower becomes an essential point of departure for analysis of that country's progress.

Despite the significance of the subject, researchers have only begun to consider the question of China's human resources. The Western World has scant knowledge of China's scientific and technical resources; of the training, employment, and utilization of her professional manpower; or of the relative influence of Soviet- and Western-trained personnel. The present study was undertaken to provide partial answers to these questions.

Two previous works published in the United States are immediately related to this study. Professional Manpower and Education in Communist China byLeo A. Orleans represents the pioneering work in this field. A symposium on "Sciences in Communist China" was published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1961. Both of these studies received support from the National Science Foundation; they have provided information directly related to an assessment of Communist China's scientific manpower, although neither has made this topic the focal point of study. Mr. Orleans emphasizes educational aspects while the papers of the symposium stress research aspects.

The present study has a more limited scope. It focuses on problems relating to scientific and engineering manpower in Communist China during the period from the inception of the Communist regime in 1949 to the end of 1962, the final year of the Second Five-Year Plan. Data for 1963 and 1964 that were available in early 1965 are also included.

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