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Thirty Years of Computer Science Developments in the People's Republic of China: 1956-1985

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129540D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 17 page(s) / 77K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

JOHN H. MAIER: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article summarizes computer science developments from their inception in the People's Republic of China in 1956, through three decades (1956-1985) of PRC computer science research and development progress. The article identifies the PRC's critical turn to the West after 1972, and it describes and analyzes the resulting process by which computer-related technology transfer from the West then occurred. The PRC, as a developing country, is analyzed as a very large unique environment in which modern computer science is being nourished and implemented.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1988 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Thirty Years of Computer Science Developments in the People's Republic of China: 1956-1985

JOHN H. MAIER

(Image Omitted: Author's Address: STAR Group, 8830 Sandcastle Ct., Ft. Worth, TX 76179.)

This article summarizes computer science developments from their inception in the People's Republic of China in 1956, through three decades (1956-1985) of PRC computer science research and development progress. The article identifies the PRC's critical turn to the West after 1972, and it describes and analyzes the resulting process by which computer-related technology transfer from the West then occurred. The PRC, as a developing country, is analyzed as a very large unique environment in which modern computer science is being nourished and implemented.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K2 [Computing Milieux]: People's Republic of China. K4. 1 Computers and Society -- public policy issues; international relations, transborder data flow.

Additional Terms: Technology Transfer, Technology Diffusion

Introduction

The People's Republic of China (PRC) now has the eighth largest economy in the world, and it is growing at a healthy rate. After a full century (1843-1949) of warfare, semi-colonization, dynastic decay, revolution, civil war, invasion and occupation, civil war again, and another revolution, finally in 1949 China's modern identity as the People's Republic of China emerged. But this was followed by almost 30 years of internal chaos and upheavals. In this decade (1978- 1987) the PRC has for the first time achieved sustained stability. China's problems began in the mid-19th century at the height of the industrial revolution, when European powers sought trade abroad. Now in the mid-20th century, at the height (or perhaps even the beginning) of the global electronic information technology revolution, the PRC must again respond to global technological change even while managing the transition of a 1.1 billion person society and economy from an agrarian to industrial status, a much earlier global paradigmatic shift. This article is about the PRC's response to the worldwide growth of computer science and technology.

The PRC's Early Years in Computer Science: 1956-1972

China's first commitment to a program in computer science was officially announced in 1956, more than a decade after working computer models were in use in the West, and at about the same time that Japan's computer science activities began. The PRC had only recently been established in 1949, and thereafter a largely peasant population went through a period of war damage recovery and reconstruction. Very soon, however, the PRC sought assistance, and the Soviet Union as a socialist neighbor was the only country willing and able to provide it. Soviet technicians entered China, numbering at the height of cooperati...