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China Table of Contents


Integration of Administrative Systems

In the late 1980s, two of the five research subsystems--the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the military system--were relatively privileged in receiving government financing and being supplied with scarce resources and historically had tended to form closed, self-sufficient domains. The system under the State Science and Technology Commission, which included the largest number of research institutes, was marked by wide variations in quality and a vertical, bureaucratic mode of organization that inhibited collaboration and exchange of information. Both the universities and the research institutes attached to large industrial complexes were short of funds and out of the mainstream of research. Overall, China's science and technology structure was marked by lopsided distribution of skilled manpower, pervasive fragmentation, compartmentalization, and duplication of research--an outcome of the 1950s decision to adopt a bureaucratic mode of organization for science and technology. Chinese policy makers were well aware of these problems and, over the years, had responded with two forms of organizational remedies: high-level coordinating bodies and mass scientific associations that cut across administrative boundaries.

Data as of July 1987