Exploring regional innovation capacities of PR China: toward the study of knowledge divide
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This study investigates the underlying factors influencing the large variances in innovation performance among the Chinese regions. What is specified in the study is the issue of the knowledge divide in China as existing regional inequalities have appeared in conjunction with the production of knowledge and innovation in its transformation into an innovation-driven economy. While the Chinese innovation system has achieved some promising developments at the aggregate level over the past few years, the inequality between the coastal and inland regions are widening with substantial disparities in the level of innovation capacity. In order to understand the major reasons for this new trend in regional divergence, the study explores the different levels of innovation activities among the provincial-level regions of China and analyzes the determinants of regional innovation capacity, employing a comprehensive and unified framework of a regional innovation system. The overall results suggest that while the Chinese regional innovation systems have evolved over time, increasing human and capital resources in innovation and accumulated knowledge stock/the level of economic development, together with the development of innovation-enhancing policies, industrial cluster environment, and linkages between innovation actors, are all crucial determinants of regional innovation capacity, leading to significant disparities in the level of innovation capacity among Chinese regions.