Planning for science: China’s “grand experiment” and global implications

Yutao Sun, Cong Cao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


China’s rising capability in science, technology and innovation to a certain extent has to do with “a grand experiment” that started 15 years ago when the Chinese government released the National Medium and Long-Term Plan for the Development of Science and Technology (2006–2020) (MLP). MLP launched the indigenous innovation strategy and set goals to turn China into an innovation-oriented country. The junction when the old MLP phased out and a new MLP (2021–2035) will soon be introduced holds greater historical and practical significance for the Chinese and international scientific communities to make sense of planning for science. This paper reviews the progress achieved in implementing the MLP, analyzes the daunting challenges facing China to become an innovation-oriented nation, discusses the implications of planning science for the Chinese and international scientific communities, and speculates on what might be included in the new MLP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2021


  • Development studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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