There have been impressive investments in higher education, in some cases such as satellite launching, supercomputing, and green technologies the government has directly created state-controlled companies with technologies that compete successfully against the very best internationally.
After all, why didn't the Chinese economy take off before ? Data from FAOyear Head to Head is Al Jazeera's forum for ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, nationalism, democracy and foreign intervention, in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.
Mehdi Hasan challenges Charles Liu on China's economic and human rights record.
In China, a gradual shift from a centrally-planned, state-owned economy to one where markets and private ownership play a prominent role is institutionalized by the state in the form of dual-track system: many in our generation remember a time when chicken eggs could be bought at lower prices with coupons at government stores that frequently ran out of stock, or at local free farmer's markets at high prices.
Despite rapid economic growth which has virtually eliminated poverty in urban China and reduced it greatly in rural regions and the fact that living standards for everyone in China have drastically increased in comparison to the pre-reform era, the Gini coefficient of China is estimated to be above 0.
What was overlooked in this logic was that the elites had less subsequent interests in continuing transformation of the economy than protecting their interests as new owners of wealth.
While both arguments have grains of truth in them, they could not have been sufficient for the blast-off inlet alone the almost uninterrupted 35 years of turbo-charged growth since. However, even the best universities in China cannot catch up quickly enough with leading universities worldwide in providing the basic knowledge and research for Chinese industries to take advantage of.
The consensus is therefore that, to sustain rapid growth in the future, Chinese industries must go through a structural transformation to prioritize research and development.
Textile output increased fold over the same period.