Silicone “Juice” in China

October 27, 2010

In You Can’t Build a New Silicon Valley Just Anywhere by Margaret O’Mara, writing for Foreign Policy magazine, she says, “for many of the would-be silicon cities being constructed by the Russias and Chinas of the world; with their long histories of centralized control, they are still convinced they can order up success.”

O’Mara’s theme is that the success we have seen in California’s Silicon Valley is due to the freedom America’s republic—now a democracy—offers along with loads of money from the government and venture capitalists with no strings attached.

If that were true, explain how China (ruled by Emperors under an autocratic imperialistic monarchy) was more technologically advanced than any country on earth for almost two thousand years.

If you don’t speak Chinese, the English subtitles say it all.

After all, the Chinese invented the stirrup for saddles which revolutionized warfare on horseback, gunpowder, the multistage rocket, the compass, paper, the printing press and pasta along with a long list of other innovations, which changed the world.

Without the Chinese, where would the world be today? See Chinese Crossbow and other Inventions

China may not offer the same individual freedoms the West does, but “face”, which is important in Chinese culture, is a strong motivator to improvise and invent so one gains “face” and becomes powerful and wealthy.

Before Deng Xiaoping and the “Getting Rich is Glorious” generation that he gave birth to, I would have agreed with Margaret O’Mara but not now.

In my next series, The Machines of Ancient China, we will discover more about China’s contributions to the world we live in.

To discover the Chinese advantage, learn about Guanxi in China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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