Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent
Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western world. While the term Cantonese refers to the prestige variety, it is used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese; when Cantonese and the related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.
Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is; this results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently. In English, the term "Cantonese" can be ambiguous. Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton, the traditional English name of Guangzhou; this narrow sense may be specified as "Canton language" or "Guangzhou language". However, "Cantonese" may refer to the primary branch of Chinese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, "Cantonese" is used for Cantonese proper. Speakers called this variety "Canton speech" or "Guangzhou speech", although this term is now used outside Guangzhou. In Guangdong and Guangxi, people call it "provincial capital speech" or "plain speech".
Academically called "Canton prefecture speech". In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, the language is referred to as "Guangdong speech" or "Canton Province speech", or as "Chinese". In mainland China, the term "Guangdong speech" is increasingly being used amongst both native and non-native speakers. Given the history of the development of the Yue languages and dialects during the Tang dynasty migrations to the region, in overseas Chinese communities, it is referred to as "Tang speech", given that the Cantonese people refer to themselves as "people of Tang". Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Yue branch of Chinese varieties, it is called "Standard Cantonese"; the official languages of Hong Kong are English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has many different varieties. Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and tribunals.
It is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language alongside Portuguese; as in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in everyday life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The Cantonese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is mutually intelligible with the Cantonese spoken in the mainland city of Guangzhou, although there exist some minor differences in accent and vocabulary. Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China. Due to the city's long standing as an important cultural center, Cantonese emerged as the prestige dialect of the Yue varieties of Chinese in the Southern Song dynasty and its usage spread around most of what is now the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Despite the cession of Macau to Portugal in 1557 and Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, the ethnic Chinese population of the two territories originated from the 19th and 20th century immigration from Guangzhou and surrounding areas, making Cantonese the predominant Chinese language in the territories.
On the mainland, Cantonese continued to serve as the lingua franca of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces after Mandarin was made the official language of the government by the Qing dynasty in the early 1900s. Cantonese remained a dominant and influential language in southeastern China until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and its promotion of Standard Chinese as the sole official language of the nation throughout the last half of the 20th century, although its influence still remains strong within the region. While the Chinese government vehemently discourages the official use of all forms of Chinese except Standard Chinese, Cantonese enjoys a higher standing than other Chinese langua
During the November 1978 to December 1979, thousands of people put up "big character posters" on a long brick wall of Xidan Street, Xicheng District of Beijing, to protest about the political and social issues of China. Under acquiescence of the Chinese government, other kinds of protest activities, such as unofficial journals and demonstrations, were soon spreading out in major cities of China; this movement can be seen as the beginning of the Chinese Democracy Movement. It is known as the "Democracy Wall Movement"; this short period of political liberation was known as the "Beijing Spring". In 1966, when Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution, millions of middle school, high school, college students answered Mao's call, being organized as the "Red Guards" to rebel and root out the "capitalist roaders" from within the Chinese Communist Party. But, in 1969, after using students in restoring the social order, Mao launched the "Down to the Countryside Movement" to exile the student "Red Guards" to rural areas.
This movement caused a lot of red guards to feel purposely abandoned by Mao. In 1971, Lin Biao's attempted coup and death shook the collective peoples' faith on Mao and the Cultural Revolution's ideology. On November 19, 1974, Li Yizhe's paper appeared on a wall in Guangdong Province; the 67 pages of the paper focused on: Damage to the citizens caused by bureaucratic corruptions of the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution. This big character poster proved that people started to re-evaluate the Cultural Revolution and political system of China. Premier Zhou Enlai, a respected senior CCP leader, died on January 8, 1976. In April 5, at the Qingming Festival, thousands of Beijing's residents gathered in Tiananmen Square, they wrote poems and put up big character posters in Tiananmen Square to mourn for Zhou and express their anger towards the impious Gang of Four and the destructive Cultural Revolution. In response, Mao ordered the police and the PLA to disperse the people, around four thousand were arrested.
This incident was called the April 5th Movement. Deng Xiaoping was announced as the "black hand" of the movement. On April 7, Mao Zedong proposed that the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CCP denounce Deng Xiaoping's official positions and that Hua Guofeng would assume Deng's positions as Prime Minister of the State Council and the Vice-Chairman of the CCP; the committee adopted both proposals. After Mao Zedong's death occurred on September 9 of 1976, with Hua Guofeng as Mao's successor, he felt threatened by the politically domineering Gang of Four. On October 6, under the support of Ye Jianying, Li Xiannian, other members of the Politburo, Hua Guofeng arrested the Gang of Four. On the following day, Hua was voted in as chairman of the CCP and chairman of the Central Military Committee by a joint meeting of the First Secretaries of the Provincial Party Committees and the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CCP. For proving his legitimacy, Hua instructed Wang Dongxing to let the People's Daily, People's Liberation Army Daily, Red Flag magazine to publish an editorial now known as the "Two Whatevers".
Hua claimed that they would honor his instruction to the full extent. On the other hand, on July 21, 1977, during the 3rd Plenary Session of the CCP's 10th Central Committee, Deng Xiaoping resumed his positions as Prime Minister of the State Council and Vice-Chairman of the CCP. After Deng came back to work, he started to fix some political decisions of Mao's era. During the spring of 1978, 130,000 victims of the Anti-Rightist Movement, removed from their positions in 1957, recovered their social statuses. Deng continued to fight for the domination in ideological field. For example, Deng wrote an essay on May 24, 1977 titled "The'Two Whatever' Policy Does Not Accord With Marxism". Under the support of Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang indicated a party journal, Theoretical Trends to publish the article "Pragmatism is the Only Standard in Measuring Truth" on May 10 of 1978, which marked the key difference between Deng and Hua; this article was re-published in Guangming Daily, People's Daily, People's Liberation Army Daily and soon caused a huge discussion movement in China, called The Discussion on Criteria of Truth.
Under the influence of the official discussion, the general public started to put up big character posters to cause a debate. On August 18, 1977, the uninnovative 11th National Congress of the CCP recommended adding the "Four Freedoms" to Article 45 of the constitution. From June to July 1978, big character posters were spread on major universities of Beijing; the posters were encouraged to criticize the Gang of Four and previous failed government policies as part of Deng Xiaoping's struggle to gain political power. In September, foreign journalists reported that they were allowed free contact with the Chinese people; this report was reproduced in Reference Informations. On Oct 1st of 1978, the words "to liberate thought, to provide the best service to the people are the duties of CCP members", a theme for the CCP Party, was posted on the Xidan Wall in Beijing by civilians. Since people were allowed to post their opinions and free-style literature on street walls throughout the country. On November 23 of 1978, Lü Pu posted his writings on the Democracy Wall in Xidan.
He critiqued Mao Zedong and pointed out that the real reasons beh
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Agriculture in China
Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers. China ranks first in worldwide farm output producing rice, potatoes, sorghum, tea, barley, cotton and soybeans; the development of farming over the course of China's history has played a key role in supporting the growth of what is now the largest population in the world. Analysis of stone tools by Professor Liu Li and others has shown that the origins of Chinese agriculture is rooted in the pre-agricultural Paleolithic. During this time, hunter-gatherers harvested wild plants with the same tools that would be used for millet and rice. Remains of domesticated millet have been found in northern China at Xinglonggou, Dadiwan and several Peiligang sites; these sites cover a period over 6250-5050 BCE. The amount of domesticated millet eaten at these sites was proportionally quite low compared to other plants. At Xinglonggou, millet made up only 15% of all plant remains around 6200-5400 BCE. Experiments have shown that millet requires little human intervention to grow, which means that obvious changes in the archaeological record that could demonstrate millet was being cultivated do not exist.
Excavations at Kuahuqiao, the earliest known Neolithic site in eastern China, have documented rice cultivation 7,700 years ago. Half of the plant remains belonged to domesticated japonica species, whilst the other half were wild types of rice, it is possible that the people at Kuahuqiao cultivated the wild type. Finds at sites of the Hemudu Culture in Yuyao and Banpo near Xi'an include millet and spade-like tools made of stone and bone. Evidence of settled rice agriculture has been found at the Hemudu site of Tianluoshan, with rice becoming the backbone of the agricultural economy by the Majiabang culture in southern China. There is a long tradition involving agriculture in Chinese mythology. In his book Permanent Agriculture: Farmers of Forty Centuries, Professor Franklin Hiram King described and extolled the values of the traditional farming practices of China. Due to China's status as a developing country and its severe shortage of arable land, farming in China has always been labor-intensive.
However, throughout its history, various methods have been developed or imported that enabled greater farming production and efficiency. They utilized the seed drill to help improve on row farming. During the Spring and Autumn period, two revolutionary improvements in farming technology took place. One was the use of cast iron tools and beasts of burden to pull plows, the other was the large-scale harnessing of rivers and development of water conservation projects; the engineer Sunshu Ao of the 6th century BC and Ximen Bao of the 5th century BC are two of the oldest hydraulic engineers from China, their works were focused upon improving irrigation systems. These developments were spread during the ensuing Warring States period, culminating in the enormous Du Jiang Yan Irrigation System engineered by Li Bing by 256 BC for the State of Qin in ancient Sichuan. For agricultural purposes the Chinese had invented the hydraulic-powered trip hammer by the 1st century BC, during the ancient Han dynasty.
Although it found other purposes, its main function was to pound and polish grain that otherwise would have been done manually. The Chinese innovated the square-pallet chain pump by the 1st century AD, powered by a waterwheel or oxen pulling on a system of mechanical wheels. Although the chain pump found use in public works of providing water for urban and palatial pipe systems, it was used to lift water from a lower to higher elevation in filling irrigation canals and channels for farmland. During the Eastern Jin and the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the Silk Road and other international trade routes further spread farming technology throughout China. Political stability and a growing labor force led to economic growth, people opened up large areas of wasteland and built irrigation works for expanded agricultural use; as land-use became more intensive and efficient, rice was grown twice a year and cattle began to be used for plowing and fertilization. By the Tang dynasty, China had become a unified feudal agricultural society.
Improvements in farming machinery during this era included the moldboard watermill. During the Yuan dynasty, cotton planting and weaving technology were extensively adopted and improved. While around 750, 75% of China's population lived north of the river Yangtze, by 1250, 75% of the population lived south of the river; such large-scale internal migration was possible due to the introduction of quick-ripening strains of rice from Vietnam suitable for multi-cropping. The Qing and Yuan dynasties had seen the rise of collective help organizations between farmers. In 1909 US Professor of Agriculture Franklin Hiram King made an extensive tour of China and he described contemporary agricultural practices, he favourably described the farming of China as'permanent agriculture' and his book'Farmers of Forty Centuries', published posthumously in 1911, has become an agricultural classic and has been a favoured reference source for organic farming advocates. The book has inspired many community-supported agriculture farmers in China to conduct ecological farming.
Following the Communist Party of China's victory in the Chinese Civil War, control of the farmlands was taken away from landlords and redistributed to the 300 million peasant farmers, including mass killings of landlords under Mao Zedong. In 1952 consolidating its power following
Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves; these representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association. "Rule of the majority" is sometimes referred to as democracy. Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes; the uncertainty of outcomes is inherent in democracy, which makes all forces struggle for the realization of their interests, being the devolution of power from a group of people to a set of rules.
Western democracy, as distinct from that which existed in pre-modern societies, is considered to have originated in city-states such as Classical Athens and the Roman Republic, where various schemes and degrees of enfranchisement of the free male population were observed before the form disappeared in the West at the beginning of late antiquity. The English word dates back to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents. According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. Todd Landman draws our attention to the fact that democracy and human rights are two different concepts and that "there must be greater specificity in the conceptualisation and operationalization of democracy and human rights"; the term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy, meaning "rule of an elite".
While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically. The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class, until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy; these oppositions, inherited from Greek philosophy, are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic and monarchic elements. Karl Popper defined democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.
No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, political freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative, the freedom of its eligible citizens is secured by legitimised rights and liberties which are protected by a constitution. Other uses of "democracy" include that of direct democracy. One theory holds that democracy requires three fundamental principles: upward control, political equality, social norms by which individuals and institutions only consider acceptable acts that reflect the first two principles of upward control and political equality; the term "democracy" is sometimes used as shorthand for liberal democracy, a variant of representative democracy that may include elements such as political pluralism.
Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot provide personal and political freedom unless the institutions of civil society are present. In some countries, notably in the United Kingdom which originated the Westminster system, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty, while maintaining judicial independence. In the United States, separation of powers is cited as a central attribute. In India, parliamentary sovereignty is subject to the Constitution of India which includes judicial review. Though the term "democracy" is used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organisations. Majority rule is listed as a characteristic of democracy. Hence, democracy allows for political minorities to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority" in the absence of legal protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an "ideal" representative democracy is competitive elections that are substantively and procedurally "fair," i.e. just and equitable
Science and technology in China
Science and technology in China have developed during the 1990s to 2010s. The Chinese government has placed emphasis through funding and societal status on science and technology as a fundamental part of the socio-economic development of the country as well as for national prestige. China has made rapid advances in areas such as education, high-tech manufacturing, academic publishing and commercial applications and is now in some areas and by some measures a world leader. China is now targeting indigenous innovation and aims to reform remaining weaknesses. China was a world leader in technology until the early years of the Qing dynasty. Chinese discoveries and Chinese innovations such as papermaking, the compass, gunpowder contributed to the economic development in Asia and Europe. Chinese activity started to decrease in the fourteenth century. Unlike in Europe, scientists did not attempt to reduce observations of nature to mathematical laws and they did not form a scholarly community with criticisms and progressive research.
There was an increasing concentration on literature and public administration while science and technology were seen as trivial or restricted to limited practical applications. The causes of this Great Divergence continue to be debated. One factor is argued to be the imperial examination system which removed the incentives for Chinese intellectuals to learn mathematics or to conduct experimentation. After being defeated by Western nations in the 19th century, Chinese reformers began promoting modern science and technology as part of the Self-Strengthening Movement. After the Communist victory in 1949 science and technology research was organized based on the model of the Soviet Union, it was characterized by a bureaucratic organization led by non-scientists, research according to the goals of central plans, separation of research from production, specialized research institutes, concentration on practical applications, restrictions on information flows. Researchers should work as collectives for society rather than as individuals seeking recognition.
Many studied in the Soviet Union which transferred technology. The Cultural revolution, which sought to remove perceived "bourgeois" influences and attitudes, caused large negative effects and disruptions. Among other measures it saw the scientific community and formal education attacked, intellectuals were sent to do manual labor and academic journals were closed, most research ceased, for nearly a decade China trained no new scientists and engineers. After Mao Zedong's death, S&T was established as one of the Four Modernizations in 1976; the new leader Deng Xiaoping, architect of the Chinese economic reform, was a strong promoter of S&T and reversed the policies of the Cultural revolution. The Soviet inspired system was gradually reformed. Media began promoting the value of S&T, scientific thinking, scientific achievement; the third and fourth generations of leaders came exclusively from technical backgrounds. The State Council of the People's Republic of China in 1995 issued the "Decision on Accelerating S&T Development" which described planned Science & Technology development for the coming decades.
It described S&T as the chief productive force and affecting economic development, social progress, national strength, living standards. S&T should become associated with market needs. Not only Soviet style institutes should do research but universities and private industries. State institutions should form joint ventures with Chinese or foreign venture capital in order for S&T developments to reach the industry. S&T personal should become more occupationally mobile, pay should be linked to economic results, age and seniority should become less important for personal decisions. Intellectual property rights should be respected. Information exchange should improve and there should be competition and open bidding on projects; the environment should be protected. Chinese indigenous S&T in certain key areas should be promoted. Public officials should incorporate S&T in decision making. Society, including Communist Party youth organizations, labor unions and the mass media, should promote respect for knowledge and human talents.
During the last 30 years China concentrated on building physical infrastructure such as roads and ports. One policy during the last decade has been to ask for technology transfer in order for foreign companies to gain access to the Chinese market. China is now targeting indigenous innovation. During this period China has succeeded in developing an innovation infrastructure, founded on the establishment of over 100 science and technology parks in many parts of the country, along with encouragement of entrepreneurship outside the state-owned sector. Yip and McKern argue that Chinese firms have evolved through three phases as their innovation capabilities have matured and that by 2017 many of them are of world standard, they are now strong competitors in the China market and in foreign markets, where they are establishing local operations. While the term "techno-nationalism" was applied to the United States in the 1980s, it has since been used to describe nationalistic technology policies in many countries in Asia.
Chinese techno-nationalism is rooted in the country's humiliation at the hands of more advanced countries in the 19th century. Indeed, China's leaders have long seen scientific and technological development as vital for achieving economic affluence, national security, national prestige. Lacking indigenous technological intellectual property and innovation a