China Embracing Innovation Theory 

It has been established by Professor Richard Li-Hua from a global perspective, a historical and philosophical angle and a strategic management perspective, based upon his 30 years of academic research on China’s technology strategy and innovation strategy, China’s competitiveness and sustainability, which resolves the paradox of China's economy with sustained, high-speed and stable development, to analyzing the root of China's social, political, economic and environmental sustainable development, and explaining the path of China's peaceful rise and the model of China’s innovation. He has published the book China Embracing Innovation Leads to the Future and over 30 papers on China Embracing Innovation theory (Chinese version) in Outlook China. 


He has previously published over 100 academic papers in leading international journals and conference proceedings and 6 books in English and 3 books in Chinese, including Technology and Knowledge Transfer in China, Competitiveness of Chinese Firms: West Meets East, and China Embracing Innovation Leads to the Future.

Dr Richard Li-Hua coined the terminology of “Embracing” Innovation to refer to China’s innovation in his paper entitled as The Essential Ingredients of Chinese ancient philosophy Embracing Contradiction and Embracing Innovation published in Tsinghua Management Review in June, 2016. He defined China’s innovation as Embracing Innovation based upon his 30 years of in-depth research on International Technology Transfer in China, China’s Innovation and Innovation Strategy, China’s Competitiveness and China’s Sustainable Development and the premises of his study of the features and characteristics of China’s innovation in his monograph Competitiveness of Chinese Firms: West Meets East, where he give his interpretation on China’s peaceful rising.

The 21st century is an era of re-thinking and re-consideration, an era which calls for great wisdom and great strategy, inclusiveness, seeking common ground and embracing contradiction, to have an open-mind and to be forward-looking. The Chinese ancient philosophy of embracing contradiction underpins China’s legacy in the last 35 years. In the meantime the gist of ancient Chinese philosophy – embracing contradiction powers innovation of Chinese enterprise management.

In Chinese classical philosophy, the Northern Song Dynasty philosopher Zhang Zai summarized the law of dialectics into four sentences: “有象斯有对,对必反其为;有反斯有仇,仇必和而解。” This means that (1) everything opposite phenomenon has two aspects, opposite the direction of movement of both inevitable contrast; (2) being contrary has to phase hatred; (3) hatred is relative to struggle; and (4) the result of struggle will inevitably attributed to reconcile. This is the philosophy of traditional Chinese way of thinking. To have a deeper interpretation of the last sentence of this summary: " The result of struggle will inevitably attributed to reconcile" which is referred to herein as “embracing contradictions”.


Contradictions" and "innovation" appear to be unrelated to each other and independent of each other but the two concepts are closely linked. According to our latest research, the essence of ancient Chinese philosophy of the strategic thinking of inclusiveness, and the use of "embracing contradiction" stimulates innovation, which we call it as China’s “Embracing Innovation”. The birth of “embracing innovation” has its unique historical background. In the seventies of last century, China entered into a special historical period of development. It is also inseparable from the essence of Chinese classical philosophy as mentioned previously. 


The essence of the embracing innovation is: embracing contradictions, seeking common ground while maintaining differences, creating harmony and tolerance. We can use the following three "integrations" to summarize it: an integration of planning economy with marketing economy; an integration of Western management with Eastern philosophy; an integration of prescriptive strategies with and emergent strategies.


The “embracing innovation” is more reflected in the superstructure and the ideological field. It contains two levels: First, it refers concept and philosophy innovation, which is designed as a top guide to break the shackles of the spirit and help inspire people's thinking and problem solving and issues of ideology and mentality in the superstructure; Second, it refers to innovation of technology and management, which delivers sustainable economic development and helps to build a solid economic foundation.


The two levels of “embracing innovation” are complementary to each other, which makes the “embracing innovation” become a soul of national progress, an inexhaustible power of the national prosperity.

Professor Richard Li-Hua, Founder and President of CAMOT Academy Cambridge

Keynote Speech at UNAI Forum at United Nation Headquarters, New York, 2017

Special Interview in Chinese  at CAMOT 10 year anniversary celebration at Cambridge University, 2016

Outlines 10 year Vision of CAMOT during CAMOT Conference 2016 at Cambridge University 

China Embracing Innovation Leads to the Future published by UN Chronicle 

China Embracing Innovation Leads to its Peaceful Rise published by Asia Research Institute, Nottingham University

China Embracing Innovation Conference 2018, Bournemouth, UK