AeA, the nation’s largest high-tech trade association, released the 14th edition of its ongoing ‘Competitiveness Series.’

The report outlines the “15 Year Science and Technology Plan” announced by Chinese leaders in January 2006 and analyzes China’s capacity to implement the plan. “China’s 15 Year Science and Technology Plan looks all too familiar,” said William T. Archey, president and CEO, AeA.

“It looks remarkably like the blueprint the United States developed in 1958 in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. Here we are, months away from the 50th anniversary of Sputnik and the Chinese are cribbing from our playbook.

They see how successful it was in making the United States the preeminent scientific, technological and economic power on the planet.”

China’s 15 Year Plan is designed to boost science, technology and innovation with the long-term goal of becoming a preeminent global economic and technological power. It calls for China to raise research and development (R&D) spending from the current 1.4 percent of its economic output to two percent by 2010 and 2.5 percent by 2020.

With China’s GDP growing by over seven percent per year, these commitments would put Chinese R&D investments above $100 B annually, placing it in the same league as Japan and the United States. Though China already has a growing technology industry, it is largely dominated by multinational companies and much of this is low value-added, labor-intensive manufacturing. The 15 Year Plan intends to change that equation by investing heavily in such cutting-edge areas as nanotechnology and biotechnology to spawn “indigenous innovation.”